Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Singapore: The Helix Bridge Lights & Genetic Mutations

Sunset Sky over The Helix Bridge & Marina Bay Sands

No visit to the new Helix Bridge is complete without a walk down the stainless steel double-helix bridge at night. On the second day of opening, Sunday, I visited The Helix Bridge in day. Two days later, I re-visited The Helix Bridge, armed with my gears, joining a league of photographers who were there for the latest night-shoot opportunity.

[From Sunset into the Night]

As the sun goes down, the new sight turns into a grand display of lights

[The Helix Bridge: Night Mode]

The Helix Bridge is brilliant when admired from different angles.

The steel mesh and fritted glass canopies turn into a different and interesting feature.

The basic building blocks of the deoxyribonucleic acid:
Adenosine & Thymine pair; Cytosine & Guanine pair,
lines the floor of The Helix Bridge.

[The Ribose Rings]

The ribose (de-oxyribose to be exact) rings of the DNA were not left out either.
By night, these sugar moieties turns into a splash of colour display

[Genetic Mutations]
A series of fun with static lights in-motion.

In reality, the only lights in-motion are the running lights along the Helix.

The Helix Bridge,
will recreate the new visual impact of the Singapore Night Out! scene.
When the Marina Bay Sands is in full operation,
which probably is before the National Day Parade and Singapore Formula One Grand Prix,
the whole Marina Bay precinct will be a world spectacle!

Check out earlier post of
The Helix Bridge in day.


Photography & Editing by William Tan
©William Tan 2010
Documented using Nikon D200 equipped with Tamron 17-50mm VC.
on 27th of April 2010

This is a Singapore-related post

Monday, April 26, 2010

Singapore: The Helix Bridge & Marina Bay Sands

The Helix Bridge and the Marina Bay Sands

This is the third day the The Helix Bridge is opened to public. The official launch party started on the 24th of April 2010, Saturday. The Helix Bridge is one magnificent structure made up of 3,000 steel members and 585 tonnes of stainless steel. The efforts of an international design consortium of Australian architects the Cox Group and engineers Arup, and Singapore-based Architects 61, has finally been realized. The design, as the name suggests, is inspired by the double-helix DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which is none other than the genetic material of life. The double-helix comprise of two spirals, an inner and an outer. You do not get to see the ribose sugar rings G, A, T, C, on every turn, but you sure see steel mesh and glass canopies in alternate locations of the inner spiral. I cannot help but wonder if the functionality of the canopies in providing shade from the rain in Singapore, where there is high rainfall. Nevertheless, is still an engineering marvel to replicate the DNA structure!
The sole purpose of the The Helix Bridge is to link up the Marina Bay precinct, from Esplanade, to the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) integrated resort (IR).

The entrance to The Helix Bridge from the street level at Marina Bay grandstand.

There are a few viewing "pods" that protrude out from The Helix Bridge.
These pods provide a breath-taking panoramic view of the City skyline!

Sleek stainless steel structures of The Helix Bridge, a futuristic design.

Steel mesh and fritted glass canopies in alternate segments of The Helix Bridge.

The Singapore Flyer can also be admired from The Helix Bridge.

With only days to the opening of Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, it is still a question mark, whether the IR can be completed by then. Nevertheless, during my visit, I was impressed by the number of workforce put into action round the clock, trying to put the "lotus" into place and finish some external facade at street level. Nevertheless, the Casino and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel seems complete and only slight interior furnishing touch-up.

The new vehicular Bayfront Bridge is already in operation. It runs side-by-side to The Helix Bridge and cuts through the Marina Bay Sands IR, separating the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. This road is fed by public bus services: SBS 97/97e: Jurong East to Marina Square (loop), SBS 133: Ang Mo Kio Interchange to The Esplanade, Raffles Avenue (loop), SBS 502: Pioneer Road North to Marina Square (loop), SBS 518: Pasir Ris to Suntec City (loop), SMRT 106: Bukit Batok Interchange to Marina Centre Terminal, Night-rider service: NR1 and NR6 (Available on Fridays and Saturdays).

Part of the external facade of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the small stainless steel "leaves" that flutter like a digital equalizer , and ...

... looks even more beautiful when it creates ripple-like effects.

Getting to the Marina Bay Sands by Circle Line (by foot): Exit at Promenade MRT Station and take a 10-minute walk from the station to Bayfront Avenue via the pedestrian footpath adjacent to the public road.

This is it!
The Helix Bridge and the Marina Bay Sands is going to change the history of Singapore.
We will no longer be stuck in vertical shopping malls cramped in Orchard Road!
There will be a new place to meet, wine, dine and chill!
"Let's meet up at MBS!"
This is not Macau, nor is this Las Vegas,

Updates on 28th April 2010
See The Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands in Lights, at Night here:
"The Helix Bridge Lights & Genetic Mutations"

Photography & Editing by William Tan
©William Tan 2010

Documented using Nikon D200 equipped with
Tamron 18-270mm VC, the one lens that performs in most situations and serves most purposes,
on 25th of April 2010

This is a Singapore-related post

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hong Kong Trip '10: [PART 4] Ruins of St. Paul's & Forteleza do Monte

We are now Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau. The "cardboard pop-up" cathedral is arguably the region's most famous tourist attraction. The original Cathedral of Saint Paul was built in the 16th-century (1582 to 1602) and dedicated to the Apostle of Jesus, Saint Paul. The front wall is all that remains of the Jesuit church after a fire during a typhoon attack in 1835, hence it stands like a cardboard pop-up. The external stone facade features carvings relating the story of the Catholic Church in Asia (with dragons and a sailing ship).

Built by the Jesuits, the Cathedral was the largest Catholic church in Asia at the time with the royalty of Europe competing to give the Cathedral the best gifts.

Some photo-taking on the 66-steps stairs in front of the Cathedral.

The Oriental-theme carvings include Jesuit images such as one of a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described by Chinese characters as "Holy Mother (Virgin Mary) tramples the heads of the dragon". Other engravings include those of the founders of the Jesuit Order, the conquest of Death by Jesus.

Everything behind the wall has been restored. Some of the old foundation are still visible through some glass panels on the floor.

Climb up the steel structure to the tall windows on the wall.
It is a custom to throw coins into the top window of the ruins from the stairs, for luck.

"I wish to find myself a beautiful ....... " LOL.

A view through the window out to the winding road leading to the Cathedral.

An old restored Crypt houses the remains of the founders of this Jesuit Cathedral.

Artefacts that were excavated were restored and kept in the Musuem of Sacred Art next to the Crypt.

Fortaleza do Monte or Mount Fortress or Monte Forte, is the historical military centre of Macau. It is part of the “Historic Centre of Macau”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort is just beside and overlooks the Ruins of St. Paul's.
Mount Fortress was originally built in the 16th century the by the Jesuits.
This fort was the city’s main defense structure, which successfully held off the attempted Dutch invasion of Macau in 1622. The fortress was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that held sufficient ammunition and supplies to endure a siege lasting up to two years. Mount Fortress is built on top of Mount Hill, 52 meters above sea level.

Making way up to the fortress.

On the way up, you will start to cannons protruding out of the fortress walls.

The walls are made of solid rammed earth, further strengthened by a thick stucco of ground oyster shells.

I suspect that the two strips of smooth gradients along the steps were intended for wheeling the cannons.

Markings on the artillery.

An old bell served as a signal tool.
Small holes in the walls probably served a battlements for riflemen.

The walls facing the Chinese Mainland do not have any battlements, indicating that the fortress was built only for defense against attacks from the sea.

A fantastic panoramic view of Macau city is possible above the fortress.

Definitely not what the people at Grand Lisboa had wanted.

Waiting at the base of the fortress.

Back to the Ruins of St. Paul's.

We decided to explored the surroundings of the Cathedral, where we get to see part of the Old City Wall and check out some toys. I was quite impressed by the collection in this humble and cramped little store.

At foot of the Cathedral, there is a small little Tao temple dedicated to the Deity, Ne Zha (哪吒).

What better way to relax after all that walk by giving ourselves a treat to the snack stalls at the foot of the Cathedral.

Curry Fish Balls and Tofu sounds good!

How about a guava juice that claims to have medicinal and slimming properties!

Before leaving Macau, make sure you grab some souvenir snacks from the famous Koi Kei Bakery. You can grab some full-sized samples of the many snacks. I had to grab the seaweed egg crisps, peanut candy, almond candy and almond cakes.

That sums up our visit to Macau and in the next part, we return to Hong Kong again and pay a visit to the outskirts.

Photography & Editing by William Tan 2010
Documented using my reliable Nikon D200 equipped with
Tamron 18-270mm VC, the one lens you need to cover all your travel needs,
Panasonic LUMIX-LX3, the Legendary compact camera which still held its reputation and price after 3 years!