The vision for Marina Bay is that of a high-quality, 24/7 live-work-play environment, one that encapsulates the essence of the global city that Singapore can be. LIVE, WORK and PLAY by the Bay – let it be your playground!
It is well known that waterfront business districts such as London’s Canary Wharf and Shanghai’s Pudong have come to signify urban progress and prosperity in recent years. They have raised the international profile of their respective cities while spurring growth and investment.
For Singapore, the place is Marina Bay, a seamless extension of Singapore’s flourishing central business district, spanning 360 ha of prime land for development. It is our city’s most exciting and ambitious urban project designed to support our continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in Asia.
The Master Plan for Marina Bay focuses on encouraging a mix of uses – commercial, residential, hotel and entertainment – to ensure that the area is vibrant round the clock. The concept of ‘white’ site zoning also gives developers more flexibility on the mix of uses for each site, including housing, offices, shops, hotels, recreational facilities and public spaces.
To cater for good connectivity and seamless extension, the development parcels at Marina Bay were planned based on a grid urban pattern which extends from the existing road network within the CBD. This grid creates a flexible framework with a series of land parcels that can be combined or sub-divided to meet requirements or cater to changing demands and allow the phasing of developments.
Creating signature districts
In the plans for Marina Bay, attention was paid to creating value. The land parcels are located within a series of distinctive districts, each focussed around attractive public open spaces and treelined boulevards which will provide signature address locations for developments.
Along the waterfront and fronting key open spaces, building heights are kept low to maximise views for developments further away from the waterfront. This enhances their attractiveness and will create a dynamic ‘stepped-up’ skyline profile and more pedestrian scaled areas.
The successful development of Marina Bay is supported by state of- the-art infrastructure. To date, the government has pumped in more than S$4.5 billion into the area’s development.
A Common Services Tunnel housing electrical and telecommunication cables and utility services underground is being built, making repeated road diggings a thing of the past. An extensive road and rail network has also been planned, with three MRT stations to be built in the area as part of the new Downtown rail line.
Bayfront will be linked to Marina Centre by a new vehicular bridge and a 280m dynamic double helix pedestrian bridge – the longest in Singapore. The bridge leads to a new waterfront promenade, creating a continuous walking loop connecting the necklace of attractions and open spaces around the Bay.
Another key infrastructural project is the Marina Barrage. When officially opened in 2009, it will turn the Bay into Singapore’s first reservoir in the city. It is a new source of fresh water for Singapore and a new lifestyle destination, allowing for a variety of water-based activities and events to take place.
The Softer Touch
URA, having provided the ‘hardware’ for the new business district, soon realised the Bay needed a champion for its successful development. URA set up the Marina Bay Development Agency (MBDA) to focus on the ‘software’ for turning the plans into reality. Since then, URA has embarked on a full spectrum of marketing, promotion and place management activities to showcase the uniqueness of the future financial and leisure district.
To generate more buzz, MBDA has partnered various agencies and the private sector to bring in signature events and activities such as the Marina Bay Singapore New Year’s Eve Countdown, by now a yearly Singapore highlight. The Bay is also the definitive venue for international sporting events like the F1 Powerboat Race, the Oakley City Duathlon and the Great Eastern Women’s 10km run.
The shape of things to come
While it may take over a decade for the entire Marina Bay to be fully developed, a host of projects are taking shape that will offer people from all walks of life exciting and attractive options to live, work and play in.
LIVE – by the Bay
Marina Bay has fast become one of the city’s most prestigious, “must have” residential addresses. A number of outstanding projects are already under construction. The Sail @ Marina Bay will be Singapore’s tallest residential development at 245 m when it is completed in 2009. It boasts two towers – at 70 storeys and 63 storeys respectively. Meanwhile, the Marina Bay Financial Centre incorporates the 55-storey Marina Bay Residences, with 428 luxury apartments, and the Marina Bay Suites, a 66-storey development offering 221 exclusive bayside units.
WORK – by the Bay
Marina Bay continues to be a prime location magnet for global investors and tenants seeking premium office space. The development of Marina Bay will help to further position Singapore as one of Asia’s leading financial centres, doubling the size of the existing financial district. The new growth area set aside for the seamless extension of the existing financial district is more than twice the size of London’s Canary Wharf and will provide some 2.82 million sqm of office space. Already, a nucleus of office developments is forming with the development of One Raffles Quay, the soon-to-be-completed Marina Bay Financial Centre, and the two recently sold sites at Marina View. Several global banks and multinational corporations, including UBS, Deutsche Bank, DBS and Standard Chartered, are already located or will be locating in these developments.
PLAY – by the Bay
The ‘fun’ factor at Marina Bay rose to a new high when the Marina Bay Sands™ Integrated Resort opened in 2009. With its impressive design featuring a sky park and three soaring 55-storey hotel blocks with landscaped balconies, this eagerly anticipated project adds a new dimension to our city skyline.
The world-class integrated resort houses a casino, two theatres, more than 120,000 sqm of meeting and convention facilities, and over 2,600 hotel rooms. Other attractions include two floating crystal pavilions and an ArtScience Museum, the rooftop of which will become an amphitheatre with tiered seating.
Building on Singapore’s green legacy, three world-class waterfront gardens of about 100 ha have been planned for the Bay. The completion of the first phase of the Gardens at Marina Bay in 2010 will provide a green sanctuary for people living, working and visiting in the city. Each of the three gardens features a distinctive design and character. All three will be connected via a series of pedestrian bridges to form a larger loop along the whole waterfront and will be linked to surrounding developments, open public spaces, transport nodes and attractions.
Making it happen
Global investors are quick to spot a good opportunity and the Marina Bay project has attracted some S$16.5 billion in private investments to date from investors and developers from the US, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.
Marina Bay will be the centrepiece of Singapore’s urban transformation. As the Development Agency for Marina Bay, URA has adopted a holistic and integrated approach in designing the area; working with partners and communities to implement key infrastructure and carry out active promotion and place management activities for the Bay, thereby engaging investors to garner interesting business concepts and ideas.