New Beginning for NS Square

19 Mar 2024

The groundbreaking ceremony for the National Service (NS) Square was held on 19 March 2024. The NS Square will replace The Float @ Marina Bay. Built in 2007, The Float @ Marina Bay was meant as a temporary venue for National Day Parades (NDP) due to the redevelopment of the National Stadium. DSTA engineers drew inspiration from similar structures in Japan to design the first-of-a-kind floating stage made from 15 interlocking pontoons. In 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong announced at the Golden Jubilee of NS that the space will be redeveloped into a physical monument to pay tribute to the contributions of all past and present National Servicemen.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen recognised the contributions of our national servicemen and the significance of NS Square. He said, “[NS Square] will become a national landmark for all Singaporeans. It will be another jewel to add to the already impressive skyline around Marina Bay…and one given over to NSmen and their families to show our country’s deep appreciation.”

“As a dynamic development, the design of NS Square had to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of various visitors. We considered every aspect to enhance their experience – from crowds streaming in to enjoy parades, to couples and families seeking a relaxing moment at the café while taking in the sunset view and Singapore skyline,” shares Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Koh Seow Jin. The new facility will serve as the primary venue for future NDPs and other large-scale national and community events. It will also feature an NS-themed gallery, community sports facilities, dining options and a new public waterfront promenade.

Senior Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Ng Wei Jian recalls how the team overcame challenges during the design stage. “There were many unforeseen circumstances, especially with COVID-19 looming. To keep the project on track, the team pivoted by leveraging virtual construction technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) for design iterations with multiple stakeholders to better envison how the facility will look like enabling better decision making.” 

Towing of the last floating platform and driving the first pile into the marine site at the ceremony, symbolising the beginning of the works for the redeveloped NS Square.

The team also aims to attain the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum (Super Low Energy) Award. Designed with a focus on sustainability, NS Square will adopt green initiatives such as the use of solar panels, hybrid and district cooling for air-conditioning systems, rainwater harvesting for irrigation and non-potable use, as well as recycling materials from the existing platform for use in NS Square.

“Witnessing the inception of this national landmark fills me with pride and anticipation for future celebrations it will host. As a fellow NS man, my involvement in this project adds a deeper layer of personal connection and dedication to this monumental undertaking”, adds Wei Jian.

DSTA senior management with the project team.