Singapore Flyer


Singapore Flyer

Infobox Skyscraper
building_name = Singapore Flyer


caption = Singapore Flyer and terminal building
year_highest =
year_end =
plural =
location = Singapore
groundbreaking = September 25 2005
constructed = 2005-2008
completion = March 1 2008
opening = 11 February 2008 (limited spaces)
1 March 2008 (operational)
15 April 2008 (official)
demolished =
destroyed =
use = Observation wheel
antenna_spire =
roof = convert|165|m|ft|0|abbr=on
top_floor =
floor_count =
elevator_count =
cost = S$240 million (US$180 million) (GBP£90 million)
floor_area = convert|33700|m2|sqft|-2|abbr=on
architect = Kisho Kurokawa Architects & Associates, DP Architects
engineer = Arup
contractor = Mitsubishi - Takenaka Consortium
developer = Melchers Project Management
owner = Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd

The Singapore Flyer (Chinese: 新加坡摩天观景轮 Tamil:சிங்கப்பூர் ஃப்ளையர் Malay: Singapura <<"fill in">>) is a giant Ferris wheel in Singapore. The final capsule was installed on 2 October 2007, the wheel started rotating on February 11 2008 and it officially opened to the public on March 1 2008. Tickets for rides on the first 3 nights were sold out for S$ 8,888 Singapore dollars (US$6,271)(£3,150.83GBP), an auspicious number in Chinese culture. [ [http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20080210-117956/Worlds-biggest-observation-wheel-set-to-spin-in-Singapore Inquirer.net, World's biggest observation wheel set to spin in Singapore] ] The grand opening for the Flyer was held on 15 April 2008. [ cite news | title = PM Lee officially opens Singapore Flyer| publisher = Channel NewsAsia | date = 15 April 2008 | url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/341644/1/.html ]

Reaching 42 stories high, the Flyer comprises a convert|150|m|ft|0|abbr=on diameter wheel, built over a three-story terminal building, giving it a total height of convert|165|m|ft|0|abbr=on. This exceeds the Star of Nanchang by convert|5|m|ft|0|abbr=on and the London Eye by convert|30|m|ft|0|abbr=on. Each of the 28 air-conditioned capsules is capable of holding 28 passengers, and a complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes. Initially rotating in an anticlockwise direction when viewed from Marina Centre, its direction was changed on 4 August 2008 under the advice of Feng shui masters [http://blogs.straitstimes.com/2008/8/8/feng-shui-turns-this-wheel] .

Located on the southeast tip of the Marina Centre reclaimed land, it offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about convert|45|km|mi|0|abbr=on, including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

History

The Singapore Flyer was first conceived in the early 2000s, before formal planning commenced in 2002. German company Melchers Project Management (MPM) and Orient & Pacific Management (O&P) formed a new company, Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd, as the developer with MPM holding a 75% stake and the rest by O&P. The project was formally announced and endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 27 June 2003, formalising the understanding between the developer and STB with regard to the land-acquisition process. As stipulated in the MOU, the STB will purchase the plot of land in Marina Centre from the Singapore Land Authority, and lease it to Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd for 30 years with an option to extend the lease by another 15 years. In addition, the land will be rent-free during the construction phase of the project. In July 2003, Jones Lang LaSalle was appointed as the real estate advisor. Takenaka and Mitsubishi were selected as the main contractors, and Arup as the structural engineer.

Early designs showed a convert|169|m|ft|0|abbr=on high wheel similar to the London Eye, drawing criticisms that it lacked originality. The developers promptly pointed out however, that the design was not finalised, and they were merely for conceptualisation purposes. The project was to grind almost to a halt subsequently when the developers faced difficulties in sourcing for funds to build the wheel. Original plans to complete the wheel by the end of 2005 were thus postponed indefinitely, and there were reports (but denied by the STB) that the tourism board has set an ultimatum date on 31 March 2005 for the developer to iron out its financial issues and to keep the development going.

By September 2005, the project was revived when funds were successfully sourced from two German banks. Delbrueck Bethmann Maffei, a subsidiary of ABN AMRO, will provide equity to a maximum of S$100 million, with a further S$140 million coming from Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank. With the injection of S$240 million, the largest single foreign investment in the Singaporean entertainment industry, the wheel was slated to begin construction by the end of the month.

Design

The development has a gross building area of approximately convert|16000|m2|sqft|-3|abbr=on, built on a convert|33700|m2|sqft|-2|abbr=on site along the Marina Promenade. Designed by Arup and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the wheel features 28 air-conditioned capsules, each with a floor area of convert|26|m2|sqft|0|abbr=on and capable of holding 28 passengers each [http://www.am.joneslanglasalle.com/News/News%20Release%20Eflyer/2003/07jul/SGFlyer.jpg(graphic)] . The capsules, like those of the London Eye, are exo-capsules which are attached outward of the wheel structure. This is opposed to the usual endo-capsules, such as those of the Star of Nanchang. Exo-capsules offer the advantage of an unobstructed view when the capsule is at the peak. The constant rotation of the wheel of the Singapore Flyer means that a complete trip lasts approximately 30 minutes, and has a design capacity of up to 7.3 million passengers a year.

The terminal building on which the wheel sits on comprises three floors of commercial space, with an adjacent open air Greek-inspired theatre along the waterfront and complimented by a jetty. The site is beautified by luxurious landscaping, including roof gardens and a recreated rainforest in the terminal's atrium. An open bus park for 40 buses is located behind the building, and connected by an underpass to a covered multi-storey carpark for 300 vehicles. This carpark in turn has direct links to the underground Promenade MRT Station which is slated to be opened by 2010.

Visitors can take a free shuttle bus which operates on a half-hour basis to and from the Singapore Flyer to the City Hall MRT Station everyday.

Expectations

The attraction is expected to draw about 2.5 million visitors in its first year of operation, which will give its investors a net yield of about 13.4%. About 50% of its visitors are expected to be foreign tourists, helping to generate about S$94 million in tourism receipts in its opening year. The expected visitorship figure was deemed ambitious by some however, but the STB and the wheel's investors are upbeat over its long-term prospects.

Adval Brand Group, its master ticketing distributor, has guaranteed a minimum of 8 million euros in ticket receipts per year for its investors, which was based on an annual visitorship of 600,000.

The Flyer started operations on March 1 2008, [ cite news | title = Singapore Flyer opens to the public from Saturday | publisher = Channel NewsAsia | date = 1 March 2008 | url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/332172/1/.html ] and had a soft launch for limited spaces from February 11 2008 onwards.

Competition

*The Beijing Great Wheel is proposed for Beijing, China. It is planned to stand at convert|208|m|ft|0|abbr=on and carry up to 1,920 passengers. It is estimated to be completed in 2009.fact|date=July 2008

*The Great Berlin Wheel is proposed convert|185|m|ft|0|abbr=on to be located near the Zoologischer Garten Berlin in Berlin, Germany.fact|date=July 2008

Gallery

ee also

* DHL Balloon
* Future developments in Singapore
* List of tallest buildings and structures in the world

References

External links

* [http://www.singaporeflyer.com.sg/ Official website]
* [http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20070831/tap-biggest-wheel-set-to-turn-in-singapo-231650b.html Biggest wheel set to turn in Singapore]
* [http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20070803/tap-singapore-flyer-may-open-to-public-e-231650b.html Singapore Flyer may open to public earlier than scheduled]
* [http://sg.news.yahoo.com/070409/5/singapore269316.html Singapore Flyer on track for completion by early 2008]
* [http://apps.facebook.com/weareflyers Interactive Singapore Flyer on Facebook]


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