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Project in Detail

Marina Bay Station

Singapore, Republic of
Aedas, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
Aedas Pte Ltd (Station Architect), Singapore, Republic of
World Architecture Festival 2012 - Shortlisted

Marina Bay MRT Station, Singapore


Visibility, integration and efficiency are the central design elements of the new Marina Bay MRT Station in Singapore. Serving as an interchange station to connect the North-South Line with the new Circle Line, the station offers travellers a comfortable and bright environment, which will serve as the gateway to the new central park part of the new Marina Bay Central Business District development.

The station is located on a public park adjacent to the Marina Bay Station Road and the East Coast Parkway, and is connected to the existing North-South Line Station and the neighbouring developments through direct links part of an integrated pedestrian network.

The new station also includes a temporary, self-sufficient maintenance facility for the Circle Line trains to be transformed into an underground passage link-way in the future.

The station was completed in August 2011 and was officially opened on 14th January 2012.

Brief and Planning Constrains:

The design brief required the station to carefully consider the existing North-South Line Station and the proposed Park Station, creating a seamless integration with the built facilities and the contextual landscape, and including provisions for connections to the future adjacent commercial developments and the Underground Pedestrian Network. The architectural language of the station was envisioned to have a strong identity, a unique and recognisable structure within the new CBD without compromising the required urban view corridor through the station entrance and park.

Station Design:

A key design objective was to value the setting of the station within the public park and respect the view corridors that run across the park and into the station entrance. In order to enhance the openness of the station towards the park, large areas for landscaping and a reflective pool were introduced to blur the boundaries between park and station.

To minimize the visual impact of the station on the surrounding park landscape, all ventilation openings within the immediate vicinity of the station entrance were positioned below eye level; furthermore, all emergency exits and back of house access were placed along a sunken pathway, so that only the lift, the entrance glazed enclosure and the light-weight ETFE canopy are visible at street level, allowing full views through the station entrance into the park. The entrance and ventilation openings to the maintenance facility have been moved away from the main entrance to the road side and fully integrated with the landscape design.

Large openings at the station entrance allow for maximum natural light within the station hall. The entrance escalators, stairs and lift traverse through a large void reaching down to B2 level. The translucent ETFE canopy performs as a skylight, allowing natural light to filter through the station and penetrate all the way to the underground levels, permitting views from the hall below up to the sky.

The design introduces water features in the form of reflective pools to provide a soothing transition between the station entrances and the park. At the same time the pools frame the large open voids and skylights as a safety barrier (in conjunction with glass balustrades) and complement the character of the station as a light and welcoming structure. The pools also act as rainwater collectors and, as the station entrance hall at grade level is open to all sides and fully natural ventilated, they have a cooling effect on the station microclimate.

Material and Method of Construction:

The station entrance design had to respond to the station’s highly exposed setting within an urban park and very strict planning guidelines by employing original solutions and innovative materials. To provide a large scale and lightweight entrance canopy, ETFE was chosen as cladding material for the 1,200m2 entrance structure. The minimum dead load of the cladding allows for column spans of 14m and the complete elimination of secondary structural supports. A low voltage pump keeps the multilayer ETFE cushions inflated and the curvature of the support beams provide adequate drainage slopes in case of cushion failure. The ETFE top and bottom layers have been printed with a custom, silver pattern to provide sun shading to the entrance hall below.

The cladding material and arrangement of the structure allows for gravity rainwater discharge along the perimeter of the large canopy without the need for gutters or downpipes; water falls directly into the reflective pools below.

Environmental Sustainability Features:

The design of the station entrance integrates landscape features, such as beams and reflective pools, to soften the visual impact of the station structure in the park setting while providing a positive microclimate to avoid the heat island effect in a heavily urbanized area. In addition, the station hall at entrance level is open to all sides and natural ventilated.

The lightweight canopy at the entrance of the station consists of large span inflated ETFE cushions, supported by tree-like steel columns to achieve maximum material efficiency despite the relative large area of 1,200m². The ETFE canopy is maintenance-free with no cleaning required.

Due to the translucent ETFE cladding, no artificial light is required at the station entrance throughout the day. LED lights were installed for night use, to reduce maintenance and save energy.

The external walls of the station box are formed by permanent diaphragm walls that also served as the temporary cofferdam during top-down construction. All the temporary struts used were removed and re-used elsewhere on other projects.

Lead Architect »

Quarry Bay
Hong Kong

Professional Credits »

William Chee
Aedas Pte Ltd (Station Architect)
Singapore, Republic of

Client / Developer
Land Transport Authority
Singapore, Republic of

Environmental Engineer
Singapore, Republic of

Structural Engineer
Singapore, Republic of