On 25 September 2012, a mini-SCS contingent stole away from Science Centre in the heat of day, through an inconspicuous mini bus transport, to destination—Marina Bay. Witness to the crime was Science Centre’s CE—A/Prof Lim, who sportingly took a picture of us leaving the site.
The mood was clearly buoyant… there were no tears to be seen. I guess most of the staff had quickly gotten over the trauma of leaving their work behind, gleefully packing into the bus like kids running off for adoption.
We lost no time making headway. Tires screamed on the asphalt. Staff initiated bullet-conversations. Our journey of mirth and merriment was only interrupted when we suddenly came within full view of MBS and had to pile out.
Thanks to troopers—Kathleen and Esther, we found our way into the eco-friendly Marina Bay City Gallery. Starry-eyed, some of us took a while to take in the new sights and sounds. Located near the waterfront, the Gallery houses an interesting city model showcasing more than 20 landmarks, which light up at the touch of a hand.
Using various interactive audiovisual exhibits, a gallery guide took us through the brief history of Marina Bay, which was reclaimed in the 1970s. And then, the moment we all waited for, finally arrived.
Giggling like a bunch of school girls, we obediently followed behind another friendly guide who led us out of the Gallery and onto the Waterfront Promenade. As he spoke, we snapped away-capturing images of various landmarks (including Clifford Pier, Marina Bay Sands, Fullerton Hotel) on our smart phones and digital cameras.
It wasn’t hard to keep in step with him. In fact, some of us were so enthusiastic, we forged ahead several times, only to backtrack and ‘catch up’ with the guide left behind! Eventually ending up only a few hundred metres from the Gallery, we felt the walkabout ended prematurely.
But there was no love lost. At the end of the day, we were grateful for the time of bonding, and had a lot of fun along the way, which was just priceless. The three abridged reflections below will hopefully give you an idea of the take-away of select staff.
“I really like their energy saving concept & design on their building , like using glass to replace walls so natural light can come in, high ceiling, solar panel on the roof, with light and temperature sensors.” – Kelly on the Marina Bay City Gallery
“The background of the reception counter has leaves, which exude a coolness and which give visitors the impression that the place is eco-friendly. Also, the use of the feedback form to disseminate information on future activities and events via email is quite a good idea.” – Esther on the Marina Bay City Gallery
“What I found fascinating was the Marina Bay Infrastructure – Common Services Tunnel (CST), which is four times bigger than our MRT tunnel. This ‘secret’ underground tunnel is the first of its kind in Singapore at Marina Bay and is used to house water pipes; telephone cables; power cables; cooling system pipes etc. And it’s made of highly secured concrete materials.” – Susan
As for the rest of us on tour, here’s what we picked up from the guide…
Dubbed a hub of prosperity for Singapore and brain child of Lee Kuan Yew, the 360 ha Marina Bay development was created to extend Singapore’s downtown business district. Apparently feng shui experts played an influential role too… with the Marina Barrage project in 2008, to ensure the Singapore River’s mouth flows into the bay and not directly out to sea (keeping the fortunes within reach), the relocation and Eastward orientation of the Merlion in 2002 (a cool $7.5 million-dollar project which apparently costed a lot more than buying a new Merlion!) and the directional change in rotation of the Singapore Flyer within 6 months of its operations in 2008 (from counter-clockwise to clockwise).
If you’re not a big fan of feng shui, and feel that ‘tapping energies correctly or otherwise’ doesn’t hold any water, you’re probably not alone. But I’m sure you’ll agree that the necklace of attractions, the thriving 24/7 city life, and waterfront events and celebrations, certainly make the waterfront development, a Bay-utiful place.