NS Square to be ready by 2027, set to be a space for all to enjoy

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19 Mar 2024 | COMMUNITY

NS Square to be ready by 2027, set to be a space for all to enjoy

//Story by Teo Jing Ting /Photos by Chua Soon Lye

English 华文

One of Singapore's future national landmarks, NS Square will provide not only a stage for parades, concerts and other large-scale events, but also an NS-themed gallery, sports facilities and a new waterfront promenade.

Overlooking the city skyline, the upcoming NS Square is a tribute to and reminder of the central role that NS plays in ensuring Singapore's peace and prosperity.

What can you expect to see at the upcoming National Service (NS) Square?

Its most prominent feature – the circular grandstand bowl – will be a permanent venue for large-scale events such as the National Day Parade (NDP), and boasts a seating capacity for about 30,000.

Also nestled within the development is an NS-themed gallery that will showcase the stories and contributions of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) national servicemen through multimedia and hardware displays.

Dr Ng (third from left) leading the groundbreaking ceremony. He was accompanied by (from left) Chief of Defence Force Vice-Admiral Aaron Beng; Senior Ministers of State for Defence Zaqy Mohamad and Heng Chee How; Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim; and Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation and Workforce Singapore Lim Ming Yan.

Why NS Square?

Calling it a national landmark for all Singaporeans, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said NS Square aims to be a place for Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and their families to enjoy the peace and prosperity of Singapore, which they have protected over the years.

Speaking at the NS Square groundbreaking ceremony on 19 Mar, Dr Ng also explained the reason for its name.

"Amid the many facilities and offerings at NS Square, there will be a small Parade Square marked out.

"That humble and ordinary Parade Square…is both a recognition and reminder to all NSmen that their journey to become full-fledged soldiers began on the Parade Square – where discipline, strength, camaraderie, loyalty, integrity… were forged in them and their SAF units."

Dr Ng added: "This permanent NS Square in the magnificent Marina Bay will be a fitting tribute to the contributions of NSmen and to all who support NS. NS Square serves as a permanent reminder that Singapore's sovereignty depends on our commitment to our own defence and security."

The circular grandstand bowl promises a good view from every seat – great for spectators watching NDP and other events!

A good view from every seat

The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the circular grandstand bowl features cantilevered structures spanning up to 25m. This will accommodate an increased seating capacity of about 30,000, to allow more Singaporeans to watch NDP and other events onsite each year.

The seats are curved around the stage to provide a good view from every angle, bringing spectators closer to the performances.

With a new permanent stage deck that has a purpose-built basement extending into Marina Reservoir, this flexible space can be configured for events of various scale – ranging from concerts and performances to sporting activities and competitions.

Vibrant community space

When not in use for events, the stage will be transformed into a multi-purpose space for community activities like sports and recreation, as well as weekend markets.

The public can take part in activities like canoeing, kayaking and dragon-boating at the water sports centre, or enjoy the gym and elevated swimming pool with water play areas.

The non-sporty types can take a leisurely stroll down the new public waterfront promenade around the stage, which forms part of an uninterrupted, continuous loop around Marina Bay.

Get up close and personal with various SAF assets at the NS-themed gallery's street-level frontage.
For the gram: Strike your best pose against the various SAF and Home Team assets at the public atrium.

Tribute to NSmen

At the heart of NS Square is an NS-themed gallery, which will showcase assets from both the SAF and the Home Team at the public atrium.

Visitors can also look forward to an immersive exhibition space spanning two storeys, as well as a viewing gallery with a view of the city skyline.

(From left) SLTC (NS) Halmie, Chief of Staff of 3rd Singapore Division Colonel (NS) Tan Khong Wee, and Brigade Sergeant Major from 6th Division Support Command 1st Warrant Officer (NS) Subash Lazar look forward to the completion of NS Square.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel (SLTC) (NS) Halmie Bin Hussein Mattar is looking forward to NS Square as a space for his family and him to do activities together, and look at displays and stories of NS to understand what NS is.

The 47-year-old Commander from 24th Singapore Infantry Brigade (24 SIB) hopes to trade common stories and experiences with his son, who will be enlisting this year.

"NS is a rite of passage which forms a bond between father and son. My late father served NS in the late 1970s and he used to tell me stories about his NS. I could relate to his experience when I entered NS 20 years later.

"I hope that (my son and I) can share the same common (NS) stories and experience."

CPT (NS) Sing hopes that the NS Square will inspire the next generation of Singaporeans to protect Singapore.

For Captain (CPT) (NS) Sing Hui, the Floating Platform was a poignant reminder of his Basic Military Training graduation parade, which was held in March 2016.

"After the 24km route march, I saw my loved ones at the stand. It was an extremely proud and happy moment (for me)."

Emphasising the importance of NS, the 27-year-old Officer Commanding of Brigade Engineer Company from 24 SIB said that having an effective and established NS will allow Singapore to deal with threats decisively, and safeguard its sovereignty and independence.

"NS Square will be a great place for family and friends to bond over NS experiences, and it will inspire the next generation to continue to protect the place we call home."

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