SINGAPORE – Northwest of Singapore’s expanding downtown core, the Singapore Sports Hub designed DP Architects and Arup Associates opened to public in June. The new, well-connected facility not only accommodates more activities than ever before, it also makes the best use of its spectacular waterfront location with sweeping views of the city’s iconic skyline.
The heart of the complex is undoubtedly Singapore’s new National Stadium. Although it has replaced an earlier structure with the same capacity (55,000 spectators), it is the new building’s structural audacity, orientation and integration of new programmes that sets it apart from its predecessor.
With its 310-m diameter, the stadium’s retractable roof is the largest free-spanning dome in the world. Aside from providing protection from the tropical heat, the roof frames a view of the city. On the stadium’s perimeter, the architects have organised a series of auxiliary programmes, ranging from additional indoor sports facilities, such as an aquatic centre and sports arena, to outdoor leisure facilities, such as a new waterpark and beach volleyball courts.
These venues are embraced and connected by green promenades that permeate the complex and provide extensive retail options to its visitors. This mix of functions, as well as the strong integration with the city’s transport networks ensure that the Sport Hub becomes, according to the architects, ‘a world-class sports destination that encourages everyday public participation’ rather than another white elephant.