Located on a stunning, central, 35-hectare waterfront site, Sports Hub provides a unique ecosystem of sporting, retail and leisure spaces, at the pivot between Singapore’s expanding city centre and the wider public community. Sports Hub is a key project in the Government of Singapore’s urban redevelopment and sports facilities master plan – ‘Sports Singapore Vision 2030’ – promoting a more sustainable, healthy and active society at all levels of participation, nation-wide.
Building on this vision, Sports Hub precinct master plan has been designed to make the very most of the site’s strategic location and to create a new landmark destination in terms of space, form and quality of experience. In terms of movement, the extensive walkable precinct at Sports Hub links directly to local pedestrian and cycle networks and to Singapore’s island-wide park connector system, providing excellent connectivity to the wider city centre waterfront, to Gardens by the Bay and to surrounding residential areas.
The precinct master plan creates a sequence of connected public spaces, scaled for both every day and major event modes and providing a very high quality of experience. Easy access to the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system and other transport options have been carefully considered in relation to crowd safety and management during major events, clearly separated from Sports Hub’s demanding servicing requirements, accessed from adjacent expressways and surrounding road network. The whole precinct is unified by a consistent philosophy and design approach to landscape, shade and shelter and lighting, providing levels of comfort and quality of experience appropriate to Singapore’s tropical climate and public expectations.
The National Stadium
At the heart of Sports Hub is the new National Stadium, a state-of-the-art 55,000 seat sports venue, air-cooled for comfort and designed with a movable roof and retractable seating to support the widest range of sports and leisure events throughout the year. It will be the first stadium in the world custom designed to host athletics, football, rugby and cricket all in one venue, converting from one mode to another within 48 hours. The dome of the stadium is conceived as a unifying protective canopy that connects all parts of the Sports Hub master plan, through an open public ‘sports promenade’.
With a span of over 310m, the National Stadium will be the largest free spanning dome structure in the world – and an awe inspiring event space. As a new cultural icon, the design of the stadium has focused on creating a close relationship with the city by opening the interior seating bowl and roof towards the waterfront and the city skyline. This provides spectators with breathtaking views to the heart of the city, especially meaningful for the nation’s annual spectacle, the National Day Parade.
In form and massing, the National Stadium creates a distinctive silhouette and an identity for Singapore Sports Hub, complementing the nearby Singapore Indoor Stadium. Complementing the central National Stadium are two other key sports facilities, the OCBC Aquatic Centre and OCBC Arena. These mid-scale venues have been designed to achieve maximum flexibility enabling them to serve both the exacting standards of a world-championship sporting events as well as a diverse everyday leisure-focused sports programme.
Bridging Community, Sports and Leisure – the Social Plinth
Providing the setting for the National Stadium and incorporating the OCBC Aquatic Centre and OCBC Arena, an active ‘social plinth’ is organised over three connected levels. This contiguous, landscape plinth provides both a mix of community and other uses at human scale, integrating and unifying all other sporting, leisure, lifestyle, civic and community facilities. The ‘social plinth’ creates almost 2km of human scaled built form and landscape.
As a counterpoint to the monumental scale of the stadium, this plinth injects life and vibrancy between the various facilities and event plazas across the precinct. On major event days, this whole realm will attract people to Sports Hub hours before the event, to spend time at the waterfront restaurants and food outlets, or to one of the external event plazas. On non-event days, these highly inclusive spaces will inspire participation from the community, through the bustle and variety of activity 24/7.
Seamless Integration of Sports and Place – the Sports Promenade
At the highest open public level, exemplifying the integration of sport and public space is the ‘Sports Promenade’. This inspirational civic space links the National Stadium to various key sports venues, lifestyle destinations, public rooftop spaces and green spaces within the Sports Hub, offering stunning views out to the city and the surrounding waterfront. Principally designed to provide rain and sun-protection to spectators around the stadium, the design of ‘Sports Promenade’ was developed to realise the potential of this 1km connector space for everyday use, providing a fully accessible exercise area with a jogging track and fitness centres.
Green Philosophy – creating a truly sustainable and innovative precinct
Sports Hub integrates landscape, water systems and planting extensively, creating a natural setting and high quality public waterfront environment. At the heart of the Sports Hub design philosophy, the major public and landscape realms at the waterfront promenade and arrival plazas extend and enhance the city’s accessibility and green ambience. For comfort, character and further extending this holistic approach, the stadium incorporates sky terraces with planting with vertical greenery to the edge of internal concourse areas, creating a totally unique and tropical experience.
Beyond maximising greenery and passive cooling measures, innovative engineering solutions have been integrated into the design to ensure minimal use of natural resources. The bowl cooling to the stadium achieves a 60% reduction in energy use when compared to a conventional ‘cooled stadium’. The energy used is offset by energy harnessed from renewable energy sources – making this a ‘zero carbon’ cooled stadium. Economy of means is a key characteristic of the main dome structure itself which uses one-third of the steel weight per square metre when compared to other large span structures of this scale. In recognition of these achievements Sports Hub was awarded BCA GoldPlus Mark, an outstanding result for a major stadium and multi-sports facility, in comparison to its peers around the world.
Location: Sports Hub, Singapore
Architect: DP Architects, Arup Associates
Master Plan: DP Architects, Arup, AECOM
Architecture Sport Venues: Arup Associates, DP Architects
Architecture Office, Retail, Leisure: DP Architects
Capacity seat: 55,000 seat national Stadium, 3,000 OCBC Aquatic Centre, 3,000 OCBC Arena
Area sqm: 41,000 retail, 18,000 office
Client: Dragages Singapore Pte Ltd
Article by Marco Rinaldi