Understanding Wind Effects on Ground-breaking Architecture

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The Marina Bay Sands is a world-class resort on Singapore’s waterfront designed by internationally-renowned architect, Moshe Safdie. It is immediately recognizable from its triple towers, which are connected by the Sands SkyPark™. A unique feature of the sky park is that it extends 65 meters beyond the north tower and is suspended 57 stories in the air. The sky park includes a public observatory, gardens, restaurants, and a 151m infinity swimming pool.

Global engineering consulting firm Arup was hired to solve the structural design challenges of the Marina Bay Sands’ innovative architecture. A crucial question was how winds and wind-induced vibration would affect the lofty sky park. If occupants would be uncomfortable due to windy conditions or wind-induced movement of the sky park, it could jeopardize the resort guests’ experience and the reputations of the resort owner, architect, and engineering teams.

Arup hired top wind engineering firm, CPP, Inc. to answer the wind-related questions. By developing scaled models of the Marina Bay Sands property, and testing them in specially-designed wind tunnels, CPP assessed both normal and extreme wind conditions and their effects on the sky park.

Using the information provided by CPP, Arup designed and incorporated an effective supplemental damper system. Hidden in the architect’s design, this damper system reduced the motion of the sky park. CPP also recommended ways to reduce wind effects for the sky park. Marina Bay Sands is now a key part of the Singapore waterfront, a top Asian resort, and a signature project for Safdie Architects, Arup, and CPP.

Project Team

CPP Project Director:
Dr. Jon Peterka

Structural Engineer:

Dujovne Hirch y Asociados

Project Details

Client name:
The Marina Bay Sands
Safdie Architects