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05.20.2010
Michaelworld
Graves keeping busy with colorful island mega resort
A rendering of Michael Graves' latest concoction, the Resorts World Sentosa, covering 121 acres of prime Singaporean beachfront.
Courtesy Michael Graves & Associates

While plenty of architects have been focused on surviving, Michael Graves and his colleagues have completed the 121-acre Resorts World Sentosa, a 3.5-million-square-foot complex with six hotels, numerous restaurants, casinos, a waterfront auditorium, marina, spa, maritime museum, play areas, and an underground 45,000-car garage on an island off the coast of Singapore.

In the complex, which is loaded with sustainably green features—and a lot of other colors, too—they have designed every glowing column, mural, carpet, table, chair, even the flatware and a new typeface, as well as all the things to be sold in a shop devoted solely to Michael Graves’ designs.

Like any good resort, this one has everything ones heart could desire. (Click to zoom)

The developer, Genting Singapore, approached Michael Graves & Associates after they saw a still unbuilt eco-resort the firm had designed for Costa Rico that won the $4.32 million commission in a 2006 international developer’s competition for the site, vying against a team with Frank Gehry on board.

The Sentosa commission was complex because it needed to be designed energy-efficiently in a tropical climate for both daytime and nighttime activities. Eco-coolers blasting chilled air keep outside areas comfortable, while photovoltaic and green roofs shelter interiors. (The project won a Gold Plus award in the local Green Mark program.)

The resort under construction. (click to zoom)

Designers at Michael Graves & Associates and Michael Graves Design Group provide a variety of experiences enticing to both families and gamblers in a place where the government disapproves of “gaming” but developers wanted to compete with the thriving gambling business in Macao.

And so there is limited access to out-of-sight underground casinos and a very visible Universal Theme Park next door. The goal was to accommodate all comers festively and appropriately, along with the high-end travelers who will stay at the premier Hotel Michael. Yes, this could be a first. It is named after the architect.

Jayne Merkel