Article

The Floating Platform at the Marina Bay, Singapore

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Abstract

This paper discusses the engineering design and construction of a large floating steel platform at the Marina Bay of Singapore. The floating platform was designed to be a multipurpose facility on the bay for mass spectator events, sporting activities and cultural performances. This floating platform, completed in April 2007, is believed to be the world's largest floating performance stage and hosted the National Day Parade (NDP) in the last 2 years. It has been an ideal venue for mega festivities, water sports and boat shows since; and it is a floating icon on the Singapore waters. It has also been earmarked as the venue to stage the opening and closing ceremonies for the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympics to be held in Singapore. Building the floating platform involved numerous challenges and innovatively adopted new engineering techniques, which will be described herein.Singapore constructed its first large floating platform in response to the requirement for a temporary venue to hold the NDP from 2007 to 2011, while the National Stadium was demolished. The floating platform generates a usable space of 120 m × 83 m on the water, at the Marina Bay, and was designed to carry a heavy load comprising at least 9000 people, 200 t of stage props and three 30-t vehicles. A 27 000 seating capacity gallery along the shoreline faces the floating platform and allows the spectators to view the various events on the platform as well as on the water against the backdrop of the Singapore City skyline. This floating platform is a floating icon and a new landmark on the Singapore waters. The floating platform hosted the nation's spectacular NDP in August 2007 (see Fig. 1). It was the first time the NDP was held on water and Singaporeans were thrilled by the unique structure of the floating platform. The floating platform was made configurable for boat exhibition and relocatable so as to make way for boat racing event in the bay. Besides meeting all these requirements, the design and construction had to overcome many environmental constraints and technical challenges. At about the same time, the Marina Bay was being developed into a fresh water reservoir and planned as the new downtown and financial centre. This led to more restrictions as the floating platform must be environmental friendly and the architectural design needed to blend with the surrounding infrastructure developments. The building needed to take into consideration the construction of the barrage, the Marina Barrage, across the mouth of the bay, which limited the access and transportation by sea of the floating platform into the Marina Bay. The novel solution of using pontoon-type very large floating structure (VLFS) technology was adopted to create large usable space on water. This pontoon-type VLFS technology simply harnesses the inherent buoyancy force of the water to support itself. The floating structure was neither a ship nor a building infrastructure and its development and construction required multidisciplinary engineering. Engineers in civil, mechanical, marine engineering as well as naval architecture, had to work together to synthesise and balance the demand involving marine construction standards as well as building infrastructure rules and regulations.

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... More importantly, it can effectively reduce the large bending moments and local stresses in the interior of a structure [24][25][26]. The multi-module floating structures were designed for various applications as floating bridges, floating fuel storage facilities [27], floating airports [28], floating performance stage [29] and even floating island [30], and had triggered extensive research studies in the past decades [23]. The dynamic behaviors of multi-module floating systems are complex owing to the coupling effect between modules [28]. ...
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