You may have gone to Marina Bay countless times for food, shopping, theatre, and even for Artbox. But we’ll bet you didn’t know that there was a massive cooling plant right under your feet.
The world’s largest underground district cooling network is now operating at Marina Bay, and it was commissioned on March 3 by Singapore District Cooling (SDC), a subsidiary of Singapore Power (SP), following the completion of its expansion, reported Channel NewsAsia.
A video uploaded recently by Temasek Holdings gives a tour of the cooling plant that’s 25m underground, together with some facts that made us go “whoa”.
Here’s the full video:
According to Today, district cooling is the centralized production of chilled water. It is sent via pipes to buildings for air-conditioning purposes
It provides chilled water to several buildings next to each other as a communal utility.
That means people can hang out at Marina Bay without having to worry about being overcome By A Singapore’s searing heat — we can’t imagine what it would be like without it.
The start of the video takes us to the Marina Bay District Cooling plant.
It has industrial-sized machines and pipes that run 24/7 to keep the Marina Bay district at a comfortable temperature at all times.
District cooling doesn’t just make buildings look good while keeping cool, there’s a cost factor that come so into play too — buildings that use district cooling can can save energy costs by a whooping 40%!
That’s tantamount to 80,000MWh of energy, which is enough to power 24,000 3-room Housing Board flats for an entire year.
The building’s general manager Vicky Hwang told Australian Bartender that “every piece of furniture, every textile, the carpets, the marble” were all handpicked. In other words, a lot of effort was made to achieve such a beautiful concept.
The bar has an eye on becoming a popular tourist attraction to many over the world too, thus the moniker “Atlas”.
As it will be open from from 8am to 3am on weekends, it will undoubtedly appeal to the local crowd too.
Head bartender Roman Foltán assures guests of great service, saying: “We want to deliver a five-star service, with a lot of attention to the details and personalised service. At the same time, in a very relaxed, and a little bit cheeky way as well.”
The carefully procured champagnes (many from the famous Hwang family) will even be housed in a walk-in, rose-metal plated champagne chiller room behind the main bar, according to Mr Jason Williams, creative director of Proof & Company, which is behind the Atlas project. It even has a pillbox with a special light, because UV lights are a big no no.
Who would’ve thought that being a champagne bottle would feel so good?
Before Atlas took over, the space was taken up by Divine Bar. From past photos of its lavish interiors, we can tell that Atlas is going to look like a throwback to The Great Gatsby, Leonard DiCaprio not included:
But their care costs a significant amount of money, with each tiger setting them back roughly RM40,000 (S$13,200) a year.
The zoo estimates that it needs at least RM500,000 (S$165,000) to keep up with tiger care, but hopes for RM1 million (S$330,000) to focus on conserving all Asian tiger species.
Currently surviving on limited funds
Since 2015, the number of visitors to the zoo has fallen, with the latest record accounting for only 368,000 in a year. The zoo needs at least 500,000 to break even.
The falling numbers means expenditure is really tight, with almost as much money going out as it is coming in.
Five-year grants had long ended in 2004, and the zoo is currently getting by on a one-off government aid for general maintenance.
Future remains uncertain
It is not known what the consequences will be if funding eventually runs dry and the zoo is unable to make ends meet.
But Zoo Negara has arranged talks with Malaysia’s Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister as well as Prime Minister Mahathir to discuss ways to sustain the zoo and possibly upgrade it to a dedicated conservation centre.
For now, we can help keep a roof over the animals’ heads by making a visit to the zoo the next time we’re in Kuala Lumpur.
Worried that your phone battery will drain whilst basking in the presence of the complimentary wi-fi? Don’t fret, there are also up to 800 free charging stations planted all over the different terminals.
These services are not always available in other airports out there, making it difficult for passengers with long transits. Looks like Changi Airport’s approach to pampering visitors is obviously working.
2. ‘Mazing Movies
Who would’ve thought that you could Netflix and chill at the airport? Although some look forward to catching the latest movies during their flights, others aren’t fortunate enough to have that privilege.
Not only do these gardens provide scenic views for Instaworthy photos, they are the perfect spots to bring children for a fresh breath of the outdoors after being confined in their airplane seats for prolonged periods of time.
So it’s definitely comforting for passengers to know that Changi Airport has designated resting areas that have reclining chairs, deeming it as one of the best airports to take a nap during a dreaded long transit.
Let’s not forget that they are also free-of-charge. Here are their locations:
Terminal 1: Snooze Lounge, Transit East, Level 3, Transit Area
Terminal 2 : Sanctuary Lounge, Transit North Pier, opposite E5, Transit Area; Oasis Lounge, Transit North Pier, Opp E11, Transit Area
Terminal 3: Snooze Lounge, Transit North Mezzanine, near to Singapore Food Street, Transit Area
5. Terrific Tours
Take a little trip around Singapore town in a Singapore city bus. Sound familiar? Well, Singapore is actually one of the few airports in the world that offer not only one, but two free tours for passengers in transit.
The City Lights and Heritage tour allows passengers gawk at the grandeur of the city or explore the historical sites around the country. This is accompanied by well-trained tour guides, assuring visitors of a high-quality experience.
Here are some photos taken by tourists on one of the tours:
Terminal 2: Departure Transit Lounge South, next to the Orchid Garden, Level 2, Transit Area
Terminal 3: Next to the Fountain area, Level B2, Public Area; Departure Transit Lounge North, Outside gate holdroom B1-B4, Level 2, Transit Area
We think it’s wonderful that Changi Airport is taking the appeal of the arts so seriously, definitely much more than other airports out there.
9. Maximum Mugging
To many foreigners, encountering students studying at airports is rather strange. However, Changi Airport has picked up on Singapore’s obsession with studying, and houses many studying spots perfect for the everyday mugger, unlike other airports in the world. Here are some of the best spots to study!
This quiet cafe offers free wi-fi and charging ports, perfect for the everyday mugger. Located at Level 2 of Terminal 3, this 24-hour cafe is sure to help keep students awake and undisturbed.
With a plethora of food chains and open spaces available for students to study and/or relax, no wonder Changi Airport doesn’t appeal only to travellers.
10. Shiok Shopping
Avid shoppers almost always look forward to the “NO GST”, duty-free deals during transit. At Terminal 2, The Shilla Duty Free store hosts 180 brands, making it one of the most accessible shopping stops.
It’s no wonder that Changi Airport is considered one of the best airports in the world to shop, according to Skytrax.
Changi Airport’s Achievements
As Singaporeans who grew up frequenting Changi Airport, we tend to take for granted how well-kept and developed our airport is. In total, the airport has won over 500 awards as of 2015 and yet still undergoes numerous renovations to better their services.
Wow, great. You’ve just scrolled through Instagram and everyone you know is on overseas vacation and having the time of their lives. And you are stuck in a packed bus on the way to work, slowly developing intimacy issues.
You’d love to explore the world too, but have neither the time nor the money — well, why not visit a nearby mall that brings you around the world in a single building?
According to The Star, Capital 21 is named after the 21 different “capitals” that it features in the World Museum. Some of them are country capitals, while others are prominent in their own way.
The 21 capitals are Los Angeles, Switzerland, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Washington DC, Madrid, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Athens, Istanbul, Cairo, Dubai, New Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Sydney and Hawaii (Not a city, actually, but who cares about geography when you’re in a mall?).
A Stone’s Throw Away
This exciting new development is just 20 minutes from the Causeway, so day trips to Malaysia will get a lot more interesting.
They say good things come in small packages, and Hotel Mono proves this axiom to be true. Stretching across 6 shophouses, the hotel comprises just 46 rooms, so book super early if you want to experience this visual masterpiece.
The 46 rooms are split into 6 types, each catering to different groups of travellers.
While the rooms may differ in styles and size, one thing stays constant: Great amenities.
Each room comes with the now-standard free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access, powerful air-conditioning, an attached bathroom and daily housekeeping. Refreshments such as coffee and tea are provided too.
Wanna have a movie marathon? Rooms are stocked with flat-screen TVs with cable service.
And for your beauty sleep, Hotel Mono provides each rooms the luxury of a pocketed spring bed with micro-gel fibre pillows.
It doesn’t get any better than this.
Location, Location, Location
When opening any hotel, accessibility is the most important thing.
The people behind Hotel Mono must have understood this completely, and they have chosen a location right smack in the middle of Chinatown.
The hotel is a stone’s throw away from all the attractions Chinatown has to offer, and is also mere minute away from Chinatown MRT.
Although the hotel may not offer gourmet breakfasts, the location it seem as though you are virtually surrounded by food. With the plethora of food that you can find in Chinatown, it’s almost impossible that your tummy will be unsatisfied.
The name “Z9” comes from the Egyptian Mount Sinai. According to the Bible, the mountain is where Moses often meditated. So it’s no surprise that Z9 presents itself as a place for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Since the resort only has 20 rooms, you can be sure that the serenity won’t be constantly broken by large hoards of tourists common in mainstream resorts.
Living on a lake
What’s better than waking up in a rustic cabin-like room? Waking up in a rustic cabin-like room that floats on a lake. With a splendid view of the calm waters and distant mountains, you may just end up lazing on your bed the entire morning.
During the day, you can also head out to Erawan Waterfall, which is a 40-minute drive away. Just make sure you ask the resort to charter a driver for you beforehand because being so far from the city, you’ll probably never be able to flag a taxi.
The waterfall is divided into 7 tiers, or levels. You may be surprised at the sheer number of fish in the first tier. It may be frightening at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. Behind some of the waterfalls are actually limestone caves which you can explore.
According to the building’s architect Dr Christopher Lee, the new design “ensures the continuity” of the signature curve of the old Pearl Bank.
Building features 18 sky gardens
Apart from the sleek new curves and sky bridges, One Pearl Bank will also feature a series of 18 community sky gardens. There will be a sky garden every four levels, totaling about 200 plots where “residents can grow their own herbs, fruits and vegetables”.
These gardens will not only add greenery to the facade of One Pearl Bank, but also provide a space for community bonding. Almost like that little garden on the top level of an Ang Mo Kio carpark.
The old Pearl Bank Apartments housed 288 units. This new one however, will have about 3 times more — 774. Buyers will be able to choose from studio apartments to penthouses, with the latter being almost 6 times as large as the former.
The 178-metre tall One Pearl Bank will also snatch the crown of tallest building in the Outram-Chinatown district from the [email protected], which stands about 20 metres shorter.