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Singapore's new National Stadium to have world's largest dome
Publication Date : 05-10-2012
By April next year, Singapore's new National Stadium will take its place on the Singapore skyline - and in the record books.
The steel support structure of the stadium's distinctive, dome-shaped, retractable roof - spanning 310m - will be complete by then, exactly a year before the entire Sports Hub opens its doors.
Work on the structure has already begun. When the 55,000-seater stadium is finished, it will dwarf the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas (275m diameter) as the largest dome in the world.
"It really is a landmark building, one that will be very visible on the Singapore skyline," said Clive Lewis, lead sports venue designer for the Sports Hub.
"I've worked on a couple of Olympic and national stadiums (such as Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium), but never really worked on anything quite like Singapore's Sports Hub."
The National Stadium is part of the hub, which also includes an indoor aquatics centre, multi-purpose indoor arena and water sports centre. The entire project will cost $1.33 billion, and more than half will go towards building the main arena.
At a media briefing yesterday, members of the Sports Hub consortium went into greater detail on its technical features.
Apart from the size of its record-breaking dome, the stadium's most striking feature is its retractable roof, which takes 25 minutes to open or close. It is made out of a lightweight material called ETFE, which is weather-resistant and blocks the sun's heat.
At night, the retractable roof doubles as a giant projector screen on both sides, which can display images such as the Singapore Flag during the National Day Parade. Some 3,000 LED lights, which line the steel trusses wrapped around the dome, will add to the stadium's glittering night-time profile.
The stadium scores not just on looks, but also on functionality. It is the only stadium in the world custom-built to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics events in one venue. When football games are held, the lower spectator tiers can be moved 12.5m forward to take fans closer to the action.
Construction work for the hub started in 2010, after delays caused by the 2008 financial crisis and soaring construction costs. Dragages Singapore - lead partner of the Sports Hub consortium - says work is "on track" for the stadium's opening in 2014.
There is no word yet on its inaugural event, but the arena will be the centrepiece of the 2015 SEA Games. Said Poh Yu Khing, chief operating officer of Sports Hub: "We are a small country, but we have big sporting ambitions."