Project to redevelop Marina Bay floating platform awarded to Woha Architects, construction to start in 2022

The Float @ Marina Bay was initially built as a temporary National Day Parade venue. PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The project to redevelop the Marina Bay floating platform into a permanent space for large-scale national events - called NS Square - has been awarded to a consultant team led by Woha Architects.

Redevelopment work is scheduled to start in March 2022, and be completed by the end of 2025, said the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Defence in a joint statement on Wednesday (July 15).

Woha Architects was selected as the principal consultant following a design consultancy tender held from May last year to July this year. It will lead a team to develop and implement the design for the redevelopment.

The joint statement said: "Creating a liveable and people-centred city for all Singaporeans is a key part of Singapore's long-term urban development plans.

"In this regard, the redevelopment of The Float @ Marina Bay remains a part of these plans to enhance the vibrancy of the city centre and to create public spaces where the community can come together."

Initially built as a temporary National Day Parade (NDP) venue while the new National Stadium was under construction, The Float @ Marina Bay can seat 27,000 spectators and has hosted the event nine times since 2007, most recently in 2018.

Among the requirements stated in the tender documents reported by The Straits Times previously was for the new platform to have a seating capacity of 30,000 to 35,000.

The platform has also been the venue for numerous events over the years, such as New Year countdown celebrations, River Hongbao, and basic military training graduation parades.

It was due to hold two more NDPs - this year and the next - before it is demolished, but this year's NDP will be held at multiple locations instead due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Although its redevelopment is planned to start in 2022, the project scope and timeline may be adjusted due to the impact of Covid-19.

"More details on the project will be shared with the public when ready," said the statement.

A tender evaluation panel had assessed that Woha's concept design proposal, in collaboration with design firm Populous, best fulfilled the objectives of "creating an exciting and accessible community space in the heart of the city, and responded appropriately to the context of Marina Bay with a compelling vision and narrative", said MND and Mindef.

They added the design will make use of the site's waterfront location to create a "distinctive, fit-for-purpose and flexible" events venue for different scales and types of events.

It will have community sports facilities, such as a swimming pool and water sports centre, as well as a new waterfront promenade that will improve pedestrian connectivity in the area, forming a loop round Marina Bay.

There will also be a national service-themed gallery to acknowledge the contributions of national servicemen.

This gallery space will consist of a mix of open and enclosed spaces, and showcase stories of servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team through various multimedia platforms and hardware displays.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced in 2017 that the temporary floating platform at Marina Bay would be developed into a permanent space to commemorate national service, as well as be the primary venue for future NDPs.

Woha's founding director Wong Mun Summ said of the project: "Our team is honoured with this opportunity to re-imagine the floating platform as a permanent distinctive venue at the Marina Bay waterfront.

"The redevelopment will push for unity, diversity, sustainability and resiliency, commemorating the contributions of yesterday, celebrating the achievements of today, and inspiring the generations of tomorrow."

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