Friday, September 19, 2008

23 buildings in Marina Bay, CBD submit lighting proposals to the Govt

A NEW city skyline will arise over the next couple of years when 23 buildings turn on the lights at night.

Maybank, The Sail condo and the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort are among the buildings that have sent lighting proposals to the Government. The plans include how they will illuminate their roofs or accentuate their facades.

The existing skyline of the CBD will be illuminated with new lights. — GRAPHIC: URA PHOTO: URA

This light-up is part of Singapore’s plan to create a night buzz for a distinctive city, said Mrs Cheong Hoon Kean, chief executive officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Speaking to The Straits Times ahead of the Formula One night race next week, she said: ‘We can look forward to a signature night skyline in the next couple of years, when the buildings in Marina Bay and Central Business District (CBD) are completed and external lighting is installed.’ Beautiful lighting will create ‘a captivating night scene that enhances our city’s appeal’, she added.

An artist’s rendering of the reborn skyline was completed yesterday, piecing together the 23 lighting proposals.

The buildings appear subtly illuminated, not flooded with light.

Good lighting, Mrs Cheong said, is not about being the brightest or flashiest. Asian cities tend to be over-lit, she added, but this is not Singapore’s ethos.

The underlying principle is to stay ‘elegant and tasteful, and sensitive to a building’s architecture’, she said. ‘Look at Paris, the romantic City of Lights.’

According to URA officials, elegant lighting should bring out the architectural design elements of a building. So, the emphasis includes illumination of the roof or crown of the building, and lighting walkways on the first storey to create spaces ideal for outdoor activities.

Lights can also be programmable. Day-to-day lighting can be ‘a little bit more calm’, Mrs Cheong said. The look can be ‘celebratory’ for festive seasons.

Building owners are hiring lighting experts like Mr Bo Steiber to give their properties a glow at night. The founder of Bo Steiber Lighting Design is lighting up the new tower of OUB Centre at 1, Raffles Place.

His earlier work includes illuminating Shanghai’s Xintiandi lifestyle and nightlife district, and the Esplanade’s Theatres on the Bay.

The Swede, a Singapore permanent resident, said his energy-efficient lighting of OUB Centre will ‘accentuate the tower’s angular, linear, diamond features’. He lauded the URA’s ‘good initiative’ to beautify the skyline.

The URA’s Lighting Masterplan was introduced in 2006. To encourage more buildings in Marina Bay and the CBD to light up, incentives were rolled out. New developments and buildings being revamped can get as much as 2 per cent additional gross floor area if they light up.

Cash incentives from a $10 million fund to offset the capital costs of new lighting are also granted, particularly for existing structures.

The URA also had a night lighting plan in 1995 for the civic district, the cultural and historical heart of the city. Some 90 per cent of the buildings, bridges and public spaces there were lit.

Source : Straits Times - 19 Sep 2008