Project Details:

Location: Singapore
Pool Gallons: 380,000 gallons (1,438,456 liters)
Stainless Steel Used: 422,000 lbs. (191,416 kilos)
Infinity Edge Length: 478 ft. (146 m)
Height Above Ground: 656 ft. (200 m)


Marina Bay Sands is arguably one of the world’s most challenging construction projects and certainly the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built. The SkyPark is a triumph of modern engineering with a bold look and daring design elements.

This unique structural masterpiece, designed by visionary architect Moshe Safdie, spans the width of all three soaring Marina Bay Sands hotel towers.

Project Overview

The Marina Bay Sands SkyPark appears to float like a ship across the top of the three towers of the hotel, and the pool literally spills over an astonishing 478-foot (146-meter) vanishing edge.

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Imagine yourself floating in the Marina Bay Sands rooftop infinity pool, gazing down on the glittering city-skyline from 57 levels above. From swimming, stretching out to sunbathe on a luxurious poolside lounger, photo-taking, relaxing in the shade of a palm tree or sipping on champagne while experiencing the remarkable sunset amidst the clouds, you will not find a more spectacular view anywhere.

Featured by the likes of National Geographic, the Discovery Channel’s Build It Bigger, and others for its bold look and daring design elements, the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark in Singapore is a triumph of modern engineering. The Sands SkyPark is the 1-hectare roof terrace that connects and sits atop the three 56-story hotel towers. Measuring 478 feet long (146-meters), almost three Olympic swimming pools in length, the SkyPark pool is the world’s largest infinity-edge pool at that height. It comprises 422,000 pounds (191,416 kilos) of stainless steel and holds 380,000 gallons (1,438,456 liters) of water.

Engineering Tasks

The SkyPark is one of the most incredible technological feats in the pool industry, because of the consideration of the three towers movement by wind at that height and the settlement of the buildings in the ground over time.

There is a 146-meter infinity-edge stainless steel pool, three large hydrotherapy spas, a wading pool and a reflecting pool sitting on top of three independent 56-floor hotel towers.  With the notoriety of the Marina Bay Sands project being one of the most incredible engineering and technological feats in the pool industry, the project also came with its own set of unique challenges to conquer.

Natare engineered this stainless steel swimming pool to allow for the swaying of the three skyscrapers in every direction. There are four movement joints beneath the main pools, designed to help them withstand the natural motion of the towers, and each joint has a unique range of motion. The total range of motion is 500 millimeters (19.68 inches). The SkyPark is designed for wind pressures of up to 2.5 kPa (5,933 lbs./ft² or 250 kg/m²) and wind speeds of up to 105 ft./s (32 m/s).

 

 

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In addition to wind, the hotel towers are also subject to settlement in the earth over time, so engineers built and installed custom jack legs to allow for future adjustment at more than 500 points beneath the pool system. The pool also adjusts to maintain its level flow along the horizon of the infinity edge, even as the three buildings settle into the ground at different rates over the years. This jacking system is important primarily to ensure the infinity edge of the pool continues to function properly.

Building & Installation

Marina bay sands-construction-aquatics intl-fixManufacturing and constructing of the world’s largest infinity-edge pool is no small feat.

The mechanical systems of the pool were designed with multiple and independent recirculation and filtration loops allowing for a variety of operational modes depending on the load (swimmers in the pool), weather conditions, feature effects and hours of operation. The entire system was individually engineered and structurally designed using the most comprehensive computer design and modeling tools. Three-dimensional models were created long before manufacturing or construction began.

A scale model of the pool enclosures and submersed connectors were built and tested at Natare’s headquarters in Indianapolis. The mock-up allowed Natare to troubleshoot and modify the sealing method in order to provide a superior product never before used in elevated pools.

The pool interior is finished with ceramic tile adhered directly to the stainless steel foundation. The pool consists of three separate shells; the middle shell constructed atop the middle tower, and the outer shells constructed on bridges that connect the middle tower with the outer ones. The structural bridges between each hotel tower were installed with a 3-inch pitch, or camber, to accommodate the weight of the pool when filled with water. Four movement joints were constructed beneath the main pool to accommodate with unique ranges of motion.

Natare developed a plan to pre-fabricate all components from their manufacturing facility in Indianapolis and shipped them in more than 30 ocean freight containers to the site approximately (15,340 kilometers) away to their new destination in Singapore.

Project Challenges

The success of the project lies in the inventiveness of the design and the inventive approach developed by the teams involved.

Moshe Safdie, the leading architect for the Marina Bay Sands project, brought Natare on to handle the comprehensive and design challenges of the rooftop pools. The challenges to this project were the combination of complex design parameters matched with a fast project schedule, from initial sketches to substantial completion within four years. Many close and intensive relationships between the engineering, construction management, design teams and Natare onsite, helped coordinate solutions that could be solved as they arose.

Marina Bay Sands SkyPark will continue to fascinate and amaze the engineering and pool industry for many years to come. It was an honor to be involved in the project and the Natare team looks forward to many more projects and challenges of this magnitude.

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