A pool on a house of cards

Three 55-storey hotels side by side under an enormous 150 metre long swimming pool containing 1424 cubic metres of water, and reaching 191 metres above ground. The pool is not alone. Restaurants, nightclubs, gardens and hundreds of trees and plants keep it company at the top. This is definitely out of the ordinary.

Located in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands is a hotel complex with 2,600 rooms in three towers, with a casino, a lotus-shaped museum, and two movie theatres at the bottom, and, at the top, a 340 metre terrace containing the famous pool, which can hold up to 4,000 people.

Take a good look at the picture. The pool hangs over the ground over a distance of 67 metres, which gives the bather the illusion that nothing is holding the water. Many people would probably love to walk along this terrace and splash in this mass of water rather than suffer through the cold and grey of January.

Wikimedia Commons, Nsaa

When you look at the structure of the complex, you get the impression that you’re seeing the modern version of Stonehenge in England: a circular alignment of large stones, three of which are memorable because of the long stone that extends out at their peak, connecting the three. It’s as if Obélix had stretched out a long flat stone over three druid stones.

The Marina Bay Sands was designed by Moshe Safdie, a well-known architect in Quebec and Canada. He designed Habitat Expo 67 in Montreal, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Museum of Civilization in Quebec, and the second building of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Laser show in Singapore

Safdie was not inspired by Stonehenge to design the Marina Bay Sands, as one might be led to believe. He was inspired by a simple card game. What child has not tried to build a house of cards by balancing a horizontal card on three vertical cards? An interesting fact: Safdie’s design was submitted to and accepted by a firm that specializes in Feng Shui.

The hotel complex and its various components opened their doors in 2010 and 2011. During an opening ceremony, seven teams of 21 climbers from around the world climbed the Marina Bay Sands as part of a world championship.

As its name indicates the Marina Bay Sands stands in Singapore bay. It’s located in the heart of the city’s historical buildings. It’s said that the total cost of the complex is around $8 billion.

Reference: French and English Wikipedia articles on Marina Bay Sands.
Photos: iStockphoto LP et Wikimedia Commons by Nsaa