150-Meter Outdoor Infinity Pool // Marina Bay Sands

published in: Architecture, Travel By Marcia Argyriades, 04 August 2010

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View across Marina Bay. Photo by Timothy Hursley

View from DNA Bridge. Photo by Timothy Hursley

Luxury hotel, Marina Bay Sands recently opened the doors of its microcosm to the public and has already wowed tourists with its unique and luxurious design. 

The Marina Bay Sands hotel is located in Singapore has been designed with one goal in mind, to be the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It holds the title of the most expensive hotel built till this day, as its investment by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation reaches $5 billion. The Marina Bay Sands hotel is a mixed-use integrated resort with 2,560-rooms, three 55-storey towers, a 150-meters infinity pool on top of the towers, an indoor canal, a museum shaped like a lotus flower, the best shopping mall in Asia and world-class celebrity chef restaurants.  Furthermore, it includes theatres, an outdoor event plaza, a convention center and a casino with private gaming rooms for premium players. 

Casino. Photo by Timothy Hursley

Marina Bay Sands has been designed by Boston-based internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie.  Moshe Safdie was invited by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation to develop a competitive design proposal for Marina Bay which would be presented to the Government of Singapore.  According to Safdieour challenge was to create a vital public place at the district-urban scale, in other words, to address the issue of mega scale and invent an urban landscape that would work at the human scale.”  The hotel’s design could easily resemble a wicket, where three cricket stumps (vertical posts) support two bails; in this case the bails are resembled by the boat shaped deck which tops the tree stumps. 

View of Hotel and SkyPark from Roof of the Convention Center. Photo by Timothy Hursley

However, according to Safdie the development is inspired by great ancient cities that were ordered around a vital public thoroughfare, Marina Bay Sands is organized around two principal axes that cross the district and give it a sense of orientation placing emphasis on the pedestrian street as the focus of civic life.  In other words, the design “weaves” the components of an intricate program into a dynamic urban crossroad for a vibrant city life! 

View from “Gardens by the Bay.” Photo by Timothy Hursley

Render of Sands Skypark by Safdie Architects. Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands.

swimmers at Skypark // picture found at flickr

photo (c) Reuters // found at Flickr

The total surface area of the three 55-storey hotel towers totals 929,000 square meters (10 million square-feet).  The three distinct hotel towers anchor the district and are connected at the top by the 1 hectare (2.5- acre) Sands SkyPark where one can relax in the tranquility of a tropical garden in the sky, with exclusive access to the 150-meter outdoor infinity pool and observation deck at the Sands SkyPark one of the world’s highest public cantilevers, for a breathtaking, magnificent view of Singapore and beyond.  SkyPark is an engineering wonder as it is located 200 meters (656 feet) above the sea, and if one is to consider the structural load which the three towers carry it is just amazing.  The SkyPark spans from tower to tower and cantilevers 66.5 meters (213 feet) beyond.  Shielded from the winds and lavishly planted with hundreds of trees, the SkyPark celebrates the notion of the Garden City that has been the underpinning of Singapore’s urban design strategy.

photo by Richard Cawood // found at Flickr

photo by Guan Lim // found at Flickr

View from Water. Photo by Timothy Hursley

Equal importance was given to landscape architecture by, a sequence of layered gardens which provide sufficient green space throughout Marina Bay Sands.  The gardens extend to a tropical garden landscape from Marina City Park towards the Bayfront. The architectural landscaping design has created an arrangement which strengthens urban connections with the resort’s surroundings and every level of the area has green space that is accessible to the public. Large pedestrian walkways open to tropical plantings and water views, creating a relaxing aura for the public to enjoy.  Nearly fifty percent of the roofs of the hotel, convention center, shopping mall, and casino complex are planted with trees and gardens which thus create a sustainably designed building which assists the atmosphere of the city with its landscape architecture.

Ned Kahn, Wind Arbor, 2010. Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Furthermore, Moshe Safdie selected five international artists to create eight monumental large-scale public art installations for Marina Bay Sands.  The artists worked closely with Safdie to ensure that the site-specific commissions complement the architecture and energize the public spaces.  The artists who created works for Marina Bay Sands are: Antony Gormley // Drift, Chongbin Zheng // Rising Forest, James Carpenter // Blue Reflection Facade with Light Entry Passage, Ned Kahn // Wind Arbor, Rain Oculus and Tipping Wall, and the late Sol LeWitt // Wall Drawing #917, Arcs and Circles, and Wall Drawing #915, Arcs, Circle and Irregular bands. 

Sol Lewitt (1928-2007), Arcs, Circle and Irregular Bands, 1999. Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

All in all, the large art installations complement and integrate well with the architecture and the surrounding environment.  
Despite the few months of operation, Marina Bay Sands is a building project which has created its own microcosm of a city within the development.  Marina Bay Sands seems to make a bold statement in Singapore’s culture, and contemporary life.  Furthermore, it is surely an architectural and structural engineering achievement which sets the bar high as it brings pioneering techniques for the engineering sector.   

Antony Gormley, Drift, 2009. Courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands Consulting Team:
Architect:  Moshe Safdie
Executive Architect:  Aedas, Pte Ltd
Structural Engineers:  Arup
Landscape Architects:  Peter Walker & Partners
Investment Group:  Las Vegas Sands Corporation

View from Water. Photo by Timothy Hursley

Evening View. Photo by Timothy Hursley

Hotel Towers and SkyPark. Photo by Timothy Hursley


Marina Bay Sands

Related Articles
Safdie Architects

About Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects is an international architectural and urban planning practice founded and led by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie. Deeply committed to the creation of architecture that responds to local and regional characteristics of landscape, climate, cultural heritage, and contemporary life, Safdie is recognized for creating welcoming buildings and public spaces that contribute in meaningful ways to their setting while catalyzing a vibrant public life.

Bringing together superior design, technical, and management skills, the firm is adept at working internationally in close collaboration with local and associate architects to develop innovative designs and see complex, large-scale projects to completion.
Projects by Safdie Architects are distinguished by their geographic and cultural diversity and represent many building types and scales. The firm has completed cultural, educational, and civic institutions such as museums, performing arts centers, libraries, religious facilities, and academic campuses; neighborhoods, residential developments and public parks; mixed-use urban centers and airports; and master plans for existing communities and entirely new cities, among other projects.

Advocating the concept of “inherent buildability,” Safdie Architects proposes an architecture that is not about building the impossible but about building what makes sense for a specific program and for a particular setting. Committed to using resources efficiently while advancing a client’s goals, the firm employs a full range of building tools and cutting-edge technologies to ensure efficiency and ease of construction.

Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1938, Moshe Safdie moved to Canada with his family in 1953. He graduated from McGill University in 1961 with a degree in architecture. After apprenticing with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montreal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition. In 1964 he established his own firm to realize Habitat ’67, an adaptation of his thesis at McGill, which was the central feature of the World’s Fair and a groundbreaking design in the history of architecture.

[official website]
  • friend
    Pippa | 2010-08-04 19:16:37

    Better add that to my list of places to visit!

  • friend
    S2UPID | 2010-08-05 16:58:14

    I just want to swim in that pool all day long.

  • friend
    JESUS DIMAALA | 2010-08-05 17:46:08

    It's amazing!!! this is what we called art of engineering!!

  • friend
    yatzerina | 2010-08-05 18:49:32

    Just Breathtaking!!!!

  • friend
    JAYANTA BOSE | 2010-08-06 14:03:52

    WoW !! I am at loss of words.

  • friend
    zyon | 2010-08-07 00:27:46

    When I see st like this I always start thinking about sustainability, financial crysis, kitsch etc. Do we need (to see) such opulent thinks?

  • friend
    David | 2010-08-09 16:42:31

    Pity it's in Singapore - somewhere more beautiful might improve its appearance.

  • friend
    Juanita Wolff | 2010-08-10 00:04:20

    ....took my breath away!

  • friend
    Espen | 2010-08-11 00:00:21

    This looks horrible! Tastless, and the only reason it's "glamorous" is beacause it's expensive. There is so many places I would rather spend a day! And why there? Can think of a thing or two the people in the region needs more than a ridiculus ugly luxury hotel.

  • friend
    David | 2010-08-11 03:18:25

    I don't know what people are grumbling about, I think it looks spectacular!

  • friend
    Erik | 2010-08-11 06:36:21

    It reminds me of the most tasteless soviet style architecture.

  • friend
    Nathan Rodriguez | 2010-08-11 06:58:35

    Very beautiful, but this pool is kind of creepy.

  • friend
    Lois Rosenfeld | 2010-08-11 07:20:08

    The Hancock Building in Boston stands above all the other Boston landmarks; it is amazing to see because the reflections on it, change moment to moment. The Marina Bay Sands is striking, futuristic, totally fascinating with architecture that draws us into natural elements while being in the midst of urban life. Safdie's work graces Salem, MA with the Peabody-Essex Museum, a building which takes my breath away each time that I enter.

  • friend
    nigjez | 2010-08-11 17:32:12

    Giant buildings that house thousands of people are environmentally, and financially irresponsible and will soon be a thing of the past. This is just garish, especially in a global reccesion. Gross! Borning! Las Vegas!

  • friend
    alex | 2010-08-11 18:51:52

    i'm sorry it's hideous.

  • friend
    jen | 2010-08-11 22:48:14

    breath taking

  • friend
    Jake Pitts | 2010-08-14 17:35:32

    I would totally get a bunch of people to act out the entire Titanic movie... I bet THAT would freak some people out.

  • friend
    David | 2010-08-14 17:44:42

    Some fascinating ideas but overall, hideous. Complete disregard for its surroundings. Lack of human scale.

  • friend
    Brian | 2010-08-14 22:21:45

    I saw the episode of Build it Bigger on the Science channel where they were construction this beast of a building. I definitely want to go there one day but I'm sure it is very expensive. A great piece of architecture though

  • friend
    pqmomba8 | 2010-08-15 00:22:15


  • friend
    Ann White | 2010-08-15 01:17:13

    This is very nice, but the bull nose top end looks like a surf board to me. I think it would be more pleasing with a more uniform style top. Love the pool, though.

  • friend
    Rachel | 2010-08-15 05:49:52

    Absolutely, unequivocally, sub-humanely hideous and equally fascinating monstrosity.

  • friend
    jiodafj | 2010-08-15 16:23:37

    Ugly as hell... but the pool is awesome. Too bad we could never build an infinite pool like that in the States... too many stupid people filled with litigiousness.

  • friend
    N.S.Rajan | 2010-08-15 17:35:06

    Fantastic! Designing is one thing. The execution has matched the concept. I would like to be there.

  • friend
    george | 2010-08-15 20:20:03

    Typica Sadfie work, satisfying his ego trip as he has done elsewhere. And who agreed to construct this monstrosity?

  • friend
    Carlos Sardi | 2010-08-16 02:06:57

    Magnificent. I wish everyone could experience that pool...

  • friend
    Jacob | 2010-08-17 16:28:59

    That is one of the coolest pools i have ever seen. Makes me want to go to Singapore just to see the hotel.

  • friend
    Minde | 2010-08-17 17:00:59

    WOW! I didn't think,that it is possible to build such a terrible and expensive building... That "boat" on the top looks like a bad joke

  • friend
    R. B. FAULKNER | 2010-08-20 01:31:20

    I am wondering who the idiots are that are making all the negative comments. The building is a wonder of engineering and it is unique in style to the point of being artistic. Sadly these fools don't have a positive bone in their bodies. and would complain no matter what. For the people that live a positive life, it is beautiful and it is a place i would love to visit someday and i will. Thank you for sharing this pictures and this beautiful structure. Quite impressive to say the least. What a fantastic idea to place a ship in the sky and a pool that you can swim in and looking at the surrounding city at the same time. If i can gain permission i would love to do a painting of this beautiful place.

  • friend
    Max Sonntag | 2010-08-23 16:01:01

    to sad, that its soooo far away, but really nice how it looks from the pool

  • friend
    John | 2010-08-25 02:04:42

    Magnificent it's a cool pool!

  • friend
    Tom | 2010-09-02 14:18:46

    I lived there when they were building it and I'd probably appreciate it a lot more if I didn't know how bad the guys actually building this are treated, Modern slavery, I can't phrase it any other way. Sad, for a country that calls itself first world...

  • friend
    Sandra Saunders | 2010-09-06 04:09:59

    This is so breathtaking. It is indeed an architectural phenomena, which most people, who love to go sightseeing and touring should not dare to miss. It looks so unbelievable, unreal, but then you realize that it is a reality when you see people swimming in what I would call a 'sea-pool'. Is this on earth or is it on another planet? Still baffling me, so I'd have to plan a visit in 2011 to determine that earth is still alive.

  • friend
    Ali | 2010-09-09 20:55:44

    Cool, but it isn't an infinity pool. An infinity pool is where you have a disappearing edge overlooking an Ocean. This is just a very high up disappearing edge pool.

  • friend
    liz | 2010-10-07 04:10:46

    I live there and see it almost every time my parents drive to town and personally, I think it's hideous. Yeah sure, cool pool and all but honestly, together with our current supreme court, it just looks really horrible. Of course I am amazed at the great engineering skills used in creating the building. But honestly...It seems like every single architect wants to make Singapore look like a country with extra-terrestrial buildings from outer-space. Ugh. Also, yes we consider ourselves as a first world country but there are exceptions (such as myself) who think otherwise.

  • friend
    Erik Vasseur | 2010-10-29 05:59:34

    The prince of Whales should like this one. I live in a city where architecture is very boring always going back to classic stuff. When I am in Asia I get a kik from all the inventive shapes and crazy building you find there. This is again departing from the bland minimalist style of north America. I want more colors too I'm sick of Grey glass.

  • friend
    Bel | 2010-11-03 05:43:19

    I live in Singapore and I think it's great that we are beginning to see such amazing architecture here. Since style is really a matter of personal opinion, everyone is entitled to their views, but honestly I think the building is pretty spectacular. More amazing is the engineering feats that have been achieved in this project. For instance, the SkyPark Pool on the 57th level straddles all three hotel towers of the Marina Bay Sands! At 200 metres above ground, the engineering that would have gone into that to ensure it withstands gravitational and wind forces would be genius! There is a video on youtube that shows how the swimming pool was built, you should check it out. Search "building skypark pool".

  • friend
    Adrian | 2010-11-23 09:32:02

    that is one of the MOST ridiculous things i have ever seen. it is atrocious. it is horrible. and that so much money has been spent on building that piece of cr*p. it is pathetic and vile. it is such a bad design. so disappointed

  • friend
    John Pool | 2011-01-16 13:01:50

    I'm sorry but that is absolutely hideous, how anyone can call that a good looking building is beyond me. the 3 upright sections, ok, you could get away with but to stick a cruise ship looking thing on the top is crap. The only reason someone paid to have that built, was because they could, a bit like they have done in the Middle East, Dubai. Far too much money. JP

  • friend
    Nepal Trek | 2011-03-05 04:32:12

    Really really interesting picture collection. thank you very much for sharing

  • friend
    James Day | 2011-03-17 19:52:00


  • friend
    Marina | 2011-04-19 07:45:50

    We chose to stay at Marina Bay Sands when we went to Singapore because of the skypark, we had big expectations and wore not dissapointed! We spent much time in the pool - the view was totally amazing. The room in 35th floor with the sea view was fantastic.

  • friend
    Andrew | 2011-07-10 12:03:11

    An incredible piece of architecture in terms of the boldness and magnitude of it...but it's not the best looking building that's for sure!

  • friend
    Iliya | 2011-08-01 01:00:03

    i'd like to swim in that swimming poll...:)

  • friend
    safeershan | 2011-10-30 12:02:55

    Better add that to my list of places to visit!

  • friend
    Savanna | 2011-12-03 00:04:05

    its more amazing in person i was there this past summer and i could have lived there!

  • friend
    Thomas | 2011-12-03 16:22:34


  • friend
    Halis | 2012-02-02 10:16:44

    What an ugly design

  • friend
    Richard Greenwood | 2012-02-23 06:50:00

    Surprised some people don't like it but guess something this bold will get strong reactions both ways. A building like this really puts a city on the map. Wish we had something like this in Brisbane. I know many people in past year or so who have travelled to Singapore because of this hotel and people that stayed there say that while very expensive it is an experience you have to do. Great water show out the front in bay as well for free.

  • friend
    Me | 2012-03-17 04:39:54

    I opened that building! the casino and the restaurants look magnificent!! The hotel rooms look one star only!!

  • friend
    Rashid | 2012-03-29 19:28:36

    Great Design

  • friend
    christina | 2012-08-22 15:36:36

    that is a spectacular structure and i like the garden type surf board on top of the building very interesting design n

  • friend
    Jennifer | 2012-12-31 09:25:54

    This is unbelievable architecture! I would love to check it out in person, I am just not sure if I would have the guts to swim to the edge! The illusion it gives guests is an unforgettable one that will be talked about forever. I love the photographs as well in this article they really give me the sense of how absolutely incredible this pool is!

  • friend
    Mohammed Abdelrahim Mukhtar | 2013-03-28 11:30:03

    It is realy spectacular building , i hope if i could visit it soon .

  • friend
    Heinz-Günter | 2014-08-03 23:18:20

    Für uns ist in diesem Hotel ein Traum wahr geworden.

  • friend
    Moyenne Age, d'Or | 2015-03-06 22:55:30

    That is some bathing suite. Je mise-en-scene. Avoir le haine? En adjouter le vot - c'est pas francaises. Evidement - mais au toujours moyennes.

  • friend
    thevaki | 2015-06-20 17:39:19

    our class teacher explain about this in our school. i was exicted. today my aim is to visit this place ,even once in my life

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