Saturday, 26 July 2014

July Sketchwalk: The Singapore Sports Hub - The National Stadium.

The National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub, Kallang, Singapore.
Daniel Smith Watercolor on St Cuthberts Mill Waterford 300gsm Rough White
Our sketchwalk takes us to the National Stadium at the SingaporeSports Hub in Kallang. It’s an opportunity to visit the interior of a space that I otherwise would not have seen: let’s face it, sports and sporting events and I don’t quite mix.

At the hub, the concierge/liaison who brought us in briefed us on several protocols before we stepped on the hallowed grounds of the sporting arena. At the briefing, we were given strict orders on locations we can or cannot go, doors should or should not open. We are finally setting foot on grounds tread on by sporting gods that levitate across the field, pitch and tracks. So obviously, for security reasons probably, we were informed that we would be unable to leave the arena without an escort; and once we leave, we can no longer return to the interior again.

There was a rather amusing amusing exchange: when asked what if “we wanted to leave the stadium earlier, say in 10 or 15 minutes’ time”. The respond was, “Why would anyone want to leave in “10 or 15 minutes’ time”?”

To the liaison, the concept that anyone would want to leave such a heavenly place as the National Stadium, that anyone should wish to sketch the exterior and the surroundings seemed inconceivable. It has certainly been a long time since an employed personnel has demonstrated such infinite faith and confidence in their organisation of employment. How terribly refreshing!

In all fairness, the National Stadium is an impressive structure. Located in Kallang, Singapore, the National Stadium is a multi-purpose arena featuring a dome and retractable roof. As the only stadium in the world currently with a mechanised and automated retractable seating configurations on the lowest tier, the arena can host football, rugby, cricket, athletics, concerts, cultural and other entertainment purposes at any time. It takes approximately 48 hours to reconfigure seating arrangements to suit an upcoming event. The stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 55,000 for football and rugby, 52,000 for cricket and 50,000 spectators for athletics events.

The arena is located at the site of the former Singapore National Stadium , which was closed in 2007 and demolished in 2010. The stadium is a part of the new multi-purpose Singapore Sports Hub complex which comprises of the OCBC Aquatic Centre, the multi-purpose OCBC Arena, the Singapore Sports Museum, the Sports Hub library, the Kallang Wave shopping mall and the current Singapore Indoor Stadium, as well as a Water Sports Centre at the adjacent Kallang Basin. The Singapore national football team makes a return home to the National Stadium for the first time since the demolition of the old stadium in 2010, after spending 4 years at the Jalan Besar Stadium and will play future international matches there and hosting National Day Parade in 2016.

Dome and Retractable Roof
The National Stadium currently holds the record of the largest dome structure in the world. The retractable roof itself will take an approximate 25 minutes to open or close. The roof is made out of a lightweight material called ETFE, which is weather-resistant and blocks the sun's heat giving shade and protecting spectators from the hot and humid Singapore weather during the day and potential torrential rain at any point of time. 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.

Spectator Seating
The stadium has configurable spectator tiers depending on the event being hosted, namely "Football/Rugby mode", "Cricket mode" and "Athletics mode". To configure from athletics mode to football/rugby mode, the lowest spectator tier can be moved 12.5m forward, hiding the athletics running track underneath the seats and bringing spectators close to the pitch to provide optimum spectator viewing distances. An energy efficient cooling system is also designed to deliver cooled air to every seat in the stadium while using less than 15 per cent of energy as compared to a conventional air-conditioned stadium, providing every spectator a cool and comfortable time to enjoy an event.

Stadium Pitch
Desso GrassMaster will be installed as its grass pitch, a natural grass pitch with artificial fibres injected in between roots, to ensure a smoother playing surface.

UPDATE: 28 July 2014

Exterior of the National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub, Kallang, Singapore.
Daniel Smith Watercolor on Moleskine A3 Aquarelle
After completing some paper work over the weekend, I headed back to the stadium to sketch an exterior of the place. The incredible space-frame structure is a sight to behold from the outside: like a spaceship has landed on the island...

The heat is unbearable on the overexposed plot of land. The trees have yet to mature into their shade-providing form. I seek refuge along the covered walkway and did this piece.

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