Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marina Bay All Set To Sparkle

Source : The Straits Times, Sep 17, 2008

Plans for two promenades unveiled which will complete waterfront loop, linking bay attractions

PLANS for the last two links of the Marina Bay chain have been laid down, completing a 3.5km waterfront loop joining up the necklace of attractions in the bay area.

They are:

# An 800m water-misted stretch along Bayfront, adjacent to Bayfront Avenue.

# A 400m shady walk through pavilions under large solar-powered fans along Marina Boulevard.

The links were announced by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.

The uninterrupted waterfront promenade designed by Australian architects Cox Group in collaboration with local firm Architects 61, will cost $35 million to build.

When ready around the end of next year, visitors will be able to walk a loop linking the Merlion Park, Esplanade Theatres, the ArtScience museum and integrated resort (IR), Marina Bay Financial Centre and The Fullerton Heritage.

Ultimately, the plan is to create a vibrant waterfront area, drawing visitors to shop, eat, play or simply take in the view of the bay from any spot on the promenade.

The Bayfront stretch will be a two-tier promenade with a granite-paved upper-level and a lower-level timber boardwalk to allow visitors to go right down to the water's edge.

The main attraction is a 300m-long stainless steel tube-like structure, which can be as high as 10m, equipped with audio speakers, night-lighting and spray misters to bring temperatures down a notch.

The promenade will widen at the southern corner of the Bay into an open space with water features such as dancing water jets. Next to that will be a visitor centre showing developments in the area, a cafe and an information booth.

The lively, pumping ambience of the Bayfront stretch will give way to a shadier, more tranquil gander along Marina Boulevard.

There, visitors can rest their feet and sit on the seawall among flowering shrubs and shady trees, and be cooled by solar-powered fans.

The announcement for the final two links has come 18 months after URA unveiled its plans for the first, a double-helix bridge linking the IR site with the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel. The Flyer opened officially in March, and the bridge will be up around the end of next year.

Said URA's chief planner Koh-Lim Wen Gin: 'These constructions help us to take full advantage of the waterfront. It allows people to enjoy this reservoir in the heart of our city and allows lots of events to take place next to and on the water.'

The URA is now calling for tenders for the promenades' construction.

The Marina Bay loop will be part of a longer 11.7km waterfront route around the Marina Reservoir, linking the Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Barrage and the new Sports Hub. These are in the midst of construction.

The designer, renowned Australian architect Philip Cox, hailed the Marina Bay area as the 'new focus of the city' and a way for Singapore to become 'the most successful maritime city in the world'.

He said: 'Every part of Singapore offers a different experience. This one will lead to a

refocus, a shift of the centre of the city to this area and away from Orchard Road.'

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