Last NDP at the Floating Platform
This year’s National Day Parade (NDP) will be the final one to be held at The Float @ Marina Bay — home of more than ten NDPs in years past. Originally built to host the NDP only from 2007 to 2011 as the National Stadium was being reconstructed, the floating platform is a place of many firsts — the first floating platform in the world that uses a pontoon-type “very large floating structure” (VLFS) technology, the first time we held the NDP on water, and where we held the opening ceremony of the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
Cited as the world’s largest floating stage, it was no easy feat to engineer. 15 pontoons had to fit together perfectly, into a single platform which could float with the tide and stay afloat in shallow water. The platform had to accommodate 9,000 people, 200 tons of stage props, and three 30-ton vehicles for our first NDPs. The challenges also included working with acoustics vastly different from the old National Stadium, and designing seating gallery heights to fit into the Marina cityscape.
The backdrop to the floating platform’s first NDP in 2007 was not Marina Bay Sands but a debris-filled construction site. The view from the platform is vastly different today — a showcase of our city’s progressing skyline over the years.
In many ways, the floating platform tells a story of our constant effort to make things #EvenBetter: what started out as a temporary solution was so carefully created, it rose to the occasion, time and time again. It has been a stage for NDPs, concerts, countdowns, and sporting events, and has hosted the BMT passing out parades in the last decade. Now a popular stop for any running or cycling route around Marina Bay, even our otters have found it a suitable spot for lounging in the midday sun.
In the next few years, the area where the platform stands will be developed into the NS Square, a permanent space that will serve as a primary venue for future NDPs and a new waterfront location for community activities — another addition to our scenic skyline. Our years at the floating platform is a chapter we can look back on fondly, as we move onward in our Singapore story.
#StrongerTogether #Majulah #NDP2022