Marina Bay Sands of Singapore is a highly unique architectural marvel which stands tall amongst a great multitudes of casino establishments and man-made structures across the world. It appears like a ship stranded on top of 3 towers, however, the ship curves and hence looks more like a huge silver eel looking upwards!
One look at it in person and you would know why this structure is counted amongst some of the top destinations for casino tourism in the world. Going by Moshe Safdie, the architect behind it all, he took inspiration from a deck of cards, the reason why you see those curves in the towers. The description also fits well with ‘Sands’ which is in the business of making and running casinos. Many also wonder at the presence of palm trees 200 m high above the ground level!
The infinity pools at the top are a big hit amongst visitors
The hotel that was completed in the year 2010 and houses over 2500 rooms completely transformed Singapore’s skyline ever since its launch. However, it isn’t for the distinctively shaped three towers, the size of the entire structure or even the 2.5 acres big park at the top that everyone can’t wait to be photographed in/against; it’s actually the three infinity pools on the 57th level, on the ship that’s hoisted at the top, that everyone’s crazy about!
It’s no news that multiple pools are a great draw at hot destinations, many of them equipped with even swim-up bars. However, the pools at the Marina Bay Sands are literally in the sky! Infinity pools have always been in vogue, making an appearance in millions of photographs, giving subjects a feel of swimming on the edge.
How the infinity pools at MBS work?
For infinity pools to work, the water should flow constantly and evenly over the edge in order to give an illusion of no edge. This is possible only with a perfectly levelled wall that allows water to flow over it, into a thin unbroken sheet. If the wall is even slightly tilted, it would cause the water to flow over only the lower part, making the edge visible and thereby destroying the illusion.
Majority of the hotels keep their swimming pools, normal or infinity, on or close to the ground, in order to provide support for the water weight, and the swimming pool itself.
Marina Bay Sands chose to be different.
While it is extremely hard to keep the edges levelled and straight, the architects made things harder by placing the infinity pools atop the three tall towers. Everyone knows that a swimming pool that big will be extremely heavy, and the towers will also sink over a period of time with their foundations causing a shift in the landfill and clayey earth. Furthermore, every tower will sink at a different pace, and each one may rotate too. The wind will also cause a lot of deflection in the top-level areas of these towers, and differently for each one of them. Nevertheless, it was all left to engineers to sort out. The infinity pool had to work!
The pool’s total weight was staggering. The three of them combined contained 1.44 million L of water. Then there was 191,000 kg of pure stainless steel which constituted the pool’s structure, apart from 250,000 ceramic tiles and so on. Keeping the entire pool structure flat was another major challenge. The pool manufacturer created a system of 500 hydraulic jacks, responsible for levelling the pool, to counter the towers’ movements. Over 30 ocean freighters were used to bring the prefabricated pool from Indiana to Singapore. This park/eel/ship structure on the towers’ top in itself was a $ 150 million project. The construction workers had to create a faux ground on top of the 55 stories, for creation of this Sky Park.
No wonder, Marina Bay Sands became an instant hit across the world as soon as it was launched, becoming quickly at par with the Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower!