Suntec City

Suntec City, commissioned and built by a private consortium, began construction in 1989 and was completed in phases between 1995 and 1997 at a cost of US$2.3 billion. Built in the heart of Marina Centre near City Hall, it was designed to be a "city within a city". It comprises five office towers, a retail and entertainment complex, and a convention and exhibition centre.

The name Suntec is derived from the Chinese words xin da, which mean "new achievement". It is particularly inspired by the mandala as well as Chinese geomancy, better known as feng shui. According to geomancy masters, Suntec City is aligned to create maximum harmony and therefore well placed to bring fortune and success.

Suntec City was designed by American architectural firm I. M. Pei and Partners Architects and Planners, working in conjunction with local firm DP Architects and New York-based Tsao and McKown. The structure of the building is supposed to resemble the human hand, with the 18-storey Suntec City Tower representing the thumb, the four 45-storey office towers the fingers, and the convention centre the wrist, while the Fountain of Wealth looks like a gold ring in the centre of the palm.

Suntec City Mall
Suntec City Mall is one of Singapore's largest shopping and entertainment centre with 888,000ft2 (82,498m2) of retail space. The mall is divided into four thematic zones: Elegant Galleria, The Tropics, Fountain Terrace and the Entertainment Centre.

Elegant Galleria consists of upmarket boutiques offering brand names and exclusive merchandise. The Tropics caters to the interests of the young and old with its sports, home furnishing, recreation and fashion outlets. The Fountain Terrace offers a wide variety of local and international cuisine, and the Entertainment Centre houses a hypermarket, a cinema and other entertainment-related products and services.

Fountain of Wealth
Accorded the status of the World's Largest Fountain in the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, the Fountain of Wealth is a prominent feature in Suntec City. It spreads over an area of 1,683m2 and is supported by four 13.8m high bronze legs.

The fountain is designed to capture the auspicious values of feng shui. Suntec City was designed, according to the I-Ching, aligned to the Dragon position of the "Lake" hexagram, in proximity to the seats of authority: City Hall and the Supreme Court. Neighbouring buildings like the Pan Pacific Hotel and Marina Square further enhance its auspicious position as they form the "Frugality" hexagram.

Based on the mandala, the fountain's ring symbolises unity and completeness, an apt icon for the cooperation between 11 tycoons from Hong Kong which saw the establishment of Suntec City itself. A laser light show dances against the curtain of water every evening, attracting crowds who dine at restaurants below.

Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SICEC)
The centre is the first purpose-built convention and exhibition facility in Singapore. Spanning 100,000m2, it was designed to be an ideal setting for meetings, conventions, exhibitions and special events. SICEC was opened in August 1995 by Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and hosted the inaugural World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in December 1996.

Daniel Goh Toh Hooi

A city in a hand. (1991, October 23). The Straits Times, p. 2.

Chin, S. F. (1995, October 13).
Vision of abundance, zodiac medallions for Suntec City. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 21.

Foresight paid off for Suntec City’s investors. (1995, August 31). The Straits Times, p. 1.

Rashiwala, K. (1997, November 12).
Suntec City fountain enters Guinness Book. The Straits Times, p. 62.

Regarding Suntec: A behind-the scene look at what makes the city tick (1998, February 20 - March 5). I-S Magazine, 2(14), 4-13.
(Call no.: RSING 052 ISM)

Tan, K. E. (Ed.). (1998).
Suntec City. Singapore: Times Editions.
(Call no.: RSING 725.2095957 SUN) 

Further readings
Suntec: News from Suntec City. (1992). Singapore: Suntec City Development.
(Call no.: RSING 725.205 S) 

Suntec City a city within a city. (1995, March 31). The Straits Times. Life!, p. 8.

The information in this article is valid as at 2002 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Commercial Buildings
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Commercial buildings
Convention facilities-- Singapore
Commercial buildings--Singapore
Arts>>Architecture>>Architectural structure

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