Casino Design 2011 Issue, BUILDING EXCITEMENT

Iconic and Profitable

By Roger Gros   Wed, Jul 06, 2011

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore


Marina Bay Sands

OWNER: Las Vegas Sands
DESIGN ARCHITECT: Moshe Safdie Architects
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co.
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $5.7 billion

The newest beacon in the gaming industry is an engineering marvel on the shores of the bay in Singapore, Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands. One of two integrated resorts approved by the Singapore government (see last year’s Building Excitement for Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa), Marina Bay Sands has become the newest “must-see” attraction in Singapore.
The three sloping towers are capped off by a three-acre SkyPark that is both an engineering miracle and a solution to a more mundane problem: the lack of available land.
“Once we laid the footprint of the building, we still lacked the necessary location for the amenities of the hotel complex, which include swimming pools, gardens and jogging paths,” lead architect Moshe Safdie explains.
The base for the SkyPark was constructed offsite and trucked to the location, where the 14 separate segments were hoisted by crane and locked in place. Originally limited to the footprint of the towers, designers decided—after consulting a feng shui expert—to cantilever a portion of the end of the north tower.
The result is dramatic. At 653 feet above the ground, the SkyPark contains restaurants, spas, lounges, observation platforms, trees and vegetation, and the world’s most dramatic “infinity”-edged pool.
But the SkyPark is only part of the drama that is Marina Bay Sands. The atrium lobby of the hotel soars 23 stories, and its construction necessitated huge steel struts which crisscrossed the atrium.
Not only is the building a work of art, but it houses many large-scale art installations that were commissioned from such artists as Antony Gormley, Chongbin Zheng, James Carpenter, Ned Kahn and the late Sol LeWitt.
Other elements of the resort include a three-level shopping mall, featuring Las Vegas Sands’ signature gondolas floating on an indoor canal. In excess of 1 million square feet of meeting space will attract delegates to fill the 2,500 rooms. More than 20 restaurants, addressing every style and type of dining, give customers a wide choice. An outdoor amphitheater seats over 10,000 for al fresco performances. And an ArtScience Museum recently debuted to cap off an eight-month grand opening process.
And to top it all off, the casino at Marina Bay Sands has proven to be one of the most successful in the world, producing revenues that exceed the lofty expectations that Las Vegas Sands had outlined prior to construction.    

But the biggest success of the property is the iconic nature that has attracted tourists from around the world… exactly what the Singapore government had in mind when it approved integrated resorts more than eight years ago.

By Roger Gros

Roger Gros

Roger Gros is publisher of Casino Connection International, LLC. Global Gaming Business magazine, and Casino Connection Atlantic City are among the monthly publications Gros publishes. Prior to joining CCI, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its third edition. Gros was named “Businessman of the Year” for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce.

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