Taking an holistic approach to the design of a major new sports facility for Singapore has had a big spin-off for the public, participants and the city as a whole.
The Singapore Government's progressive vision for the project, presented by Sport Singapore, required a sports hub that would not only cater to elite sports with state-of-the-art facilities, including a new stadium, aquatic centre and two multi-use indoor arenas, but would also encourage participation in sporting activities.
Sport Singapore recognised the significance of the prime waterfront site, and requested a hub that would make a strong design statement, and be an instantly recognisable landmark, especially when viewed from the city across the water.
Arup, DP Architects and Aecom won the tender to design the project, based on the team's interpretation of this vision. The highly collaborative project saw Arup responsible for the design of the sports venues the stadium, Aquatics Centre and two OCBC arena buildings and DP Architects focused on the rest of the buildings within the hub.
Arup director Clive Lewis says the team was not content to work within the set parameters. So they expanded the concept to provide something more a true sports hub that would allow maximum participation in sporting activities at all levels, and provide an animated pedestrian precinct with a wide range of retail, office and lifestyle amenities.
Teoh Hai Pin, DP Architects director, says the team developed five design guidelines.
"The provision of high-standard facilities to develop elite sports was just the start. Our vision for the maximum participation concept extended the sporting codes to include community activities such as beach volleyball, skateboarding, leisure water parks, lawn bowls and jogging tracks with exercise stations that link to the waterfront. We set about creating a lifestyle destination with a large retail mall, a sports museum and office park, all of which help to ensure the precinct is constantly busy, not just on the few occasions when a big match is on."
The team says addressing the unique Singapore tropical lifestyle was another vital aspect of the design. The project needed to take into account the lifestyle, the climate, culture and aspirations of the local people and visitors.
Sustainability was also critical to the team. In addition to energy-saving measures, it was essential to ensure every space had the flexibility to be used for a variety of different events.