Singapore casino to launch world's first ArtScience museum

Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:56am EST
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Singapore's Marina Bay Sands will open the world's first ArtScience museum in February, the latest attraction at its $5.5 billion gambling complex built by U.S. casino giant Las Vegas Sands.

With a form reminiscent of a lotus flower designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the science museum is due to open on Feb 17 at 1:18 p.m., "as advised by our feng shui master," a Marina Bay Sands spokeswoman said.

Dubbed "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore" by Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson, the museum hosts 10 "fingers" anchored by a round base in the middle. The design of each finger reveals different gallery spaces featuring skylights at the "fingertips" that illuminate the dramatically curved interior walls.

The building features 21 gallery spaces totaling 50,000 squa`re feet (6,000 square meters) that will deliver exhibits from art and science, media and technology, to design and architecture, the statement said.

The permanent exhibition includes objects representing accomplishments of art and science through the ages, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Flying Machine, a Kongming Lantern and a high-tech robotic fish.

The dish-like roof of the museum allows rainwater to be harvested and channeled down through the center of the structure to the reflecting pond at the lowest level of the building.

(Reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Miral Fahmy)