Work was recently completed on a big, bold, and presumably very expensive architectural project – and for a change, it's not located in Dubai or China. The Singapore Sports Hub is a mammoth new sports complex containing the East Asian city state's new National Stadium: a 55,000 capacity venue that boasts the notable achievement of being the world's largest dome structure.
Situated on a 35 hectare (86.4 acre) site, the Singapore Sports Hub was designed by local firm DP Architects, and its centerpiece is the National Stadium. The National Stadium's dome shaped-structure measures a total of 312 m (1,023 ft) in diameter, besting its nearest rival in the dome structure size stakes, the Texas Cowboys Stadium, by 37 m (121 ft).
The stadium also sports a huge retractable roof and a flexible interior layout that can host athletics, soccer, rugby, or cricket as required, taking around 48 hours to convert.
Other important sporting venues within the Sports Hub include an aquatic center, which seats up to 6,000, and a 3,000 seat multi-purpose indoor arena. Elsewhere lies a 41,000 sq m (441,320 sq ft) retail area, which contains a water park and rock-climbing facilities.
There's also a library, museum and visitor's center, around 18,000 sq m (193,000 sq ft) of office space, a water center for canoeing, kayaking and related activities, and a number of smaller areas, including a skate park, jogging and cycling tracks, and a beach volleyball court.
In order to keep visiting sports fans cool, the design team, consisting of DP Architects, Arup and AECOM, carefully situated the complex to make the most of the prevailing winds, and planted lots of greenery around the site.
Local renewable energy firm Phoenix Solar was also tasked with installing a large on-site solar array, which measures 7,000 sq m (75,000 sq ft), and provides all necessary energy for the stadium's cooling systems. DP Architects reckons that this results in a 60 percent reduction in energy use, compared to a conventionally-powered cooled stadium.