Shaping Singapore's Marina Bay

Marina Bay is the realisation of a long-term development vision for Singapore and one of the fastest-growing business hubs in Asia.

The thriving urban oasis is already awash with iconic structures, vibrant lighting displays, lively entertainment venues and world-class leisure facilities. New developments are breathing new life into the southern tip of Singapore and significantly boosting the state’s tourism trade.

Arup is central to the transformation of Singapore’s premier waterfront destination, having contributed to three major developments:

  • Marina Bay Sands® integrated resort – offering a 2560-room luxury hotel, state-of-the art convention and exhibition facilities, shopping mall, restaurants and theatres.
  • The Helix – a 280m bridge, inspired by the shape of a DNA molecule.
  • The Singapore Flyer – at 165m tall, the world's largest observation wheel.

Arup also provided consultancy for the Downtown Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line that connects Marina Bay with the city centre, and has been appointed to the team responsible for delivering a second bridge that will complete pedestrian routes around the bay.

Engineering achievements

Developing Marina Bay's 360ha greenfield site presented several unique challenges to the design teams, as Arup Project Director Brendon McNiven explains:

"The site’s strategic importance to Singapore has resulted in a number of first time achievements including the world’s tallest observation wheel in the Singapore Flyer and the world’s longest habitable cantilever (spanning over 65m) in the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark®."

However, perhaps the greatest achievements lie unseen, beneath the surface of the bay. "Marina Bay’s foundations solutions were developed through almost fifty metres of reclaimed land and soft marine clay, which is what makes building these structures possible."

Beyond Marina Bay

Arup opened its Singapore office in 1968. Over three decades the firm has made significant contributions far beyond the boundaries of Marina Bay, delivering landmark projects such as OCBC Bank, UOB Centre, Temasek Towers, Expo MRT station, the Singapore Expo, Fusionopolis research and development complex and the Singapore National Library.

With over 200 local staff Arup is well placed to support Singapore’s booming professional services industry with a focus on developing commercial and residential buildings and infrastructure projects.

"Arup’s rail engineering capability is allowing us to assist Singapore in meeting its vision of developing a world-class transport system. The Downtown MRT Line project is part of an extensive plan to expand the rail network. Arup has optimised the alignment to reduce costs and we are now carrying out the detailed design for the inner city sections of the line."

Arup is also a leader in sustainable building design, integrating specialist services like acoustic consultingfaçade and mechanical engineering to design buildings that are comfortable for occupants in Singapore’s tropical climate without draining energy resources.

"Our design teams work together to investigate ways to reduce energy demands through methods like adding sunshades and creating efficient façades for projects such as the National Library and One George Street" says Russell Cole, sustainable building design leader, Singapore.

"Air conditioning is cleverly minimised by permitting the passage of natural breezes for the integrated civic, cultural, retail and entertainment hub (CCRC) and by providing assisted ventilation and heat-reflecting canopies to Clarke Quay’s streetscape".


  • Marina Bay Sands under construction. Credit Marcel Lam Photography.Open gallery

    Marina Bay Sands® integrated resort features three hotels, pavilions and a museum.

  • Singapore Flyer at night. Credit Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd.Open gallery

    The Singapore Flyer offers a 45km panoramic view stretching from Marina Bay waterfront to Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • The Helix bridge at niight, illuminated in purple. Credit Darren Soh.Open gallery

    The landmark Helix bridge is the first inspired by the double-helix structure of DNA.