Big Splash

Text by Eugene Tan

With its 82 m long and 17 m high water-slides, Big Splash once featured the highest and longest water-slides in the world. The $6 million centre was also the first recreational aquatic sports complex in Singapore, intended to 'revolutionise' public bathing in the country.

Big Splash in 2003 (Photo credit: Adrian Hind)

Billed as the 'first of its kind outside of Japan', Big Splash was an aquatic centre built on the site fronting the sea near the Chinese Swimming Club in Amber Road. Fringed by trees such as coconut palm and embellished with festive decorations of giant balloons, the goal was create a carnival-like atmosphere.

Big Splash Singapore 1977 at East Coast Park

Facilities within the centre included a wave-pool, a 200 m long flow-pool and a slide course. With sand floors and sea water, a beach-like quality was evoked throughout all the pools. An open-air theatre used for puppet and magic shows as well as band performances, together with a terraced observation deck and restaurant added to the recreational space.

Big Splash Singapore Architectural Plan

The design of Big Splash used a series of circles and curves in plan combined with bright colours, giving the structures a playful image.

Slide Pool at Big Splash Singapore 1977

The project was a result of the Park and Recreation Department's plan to develop the 350 ha East Coast Parkway, stretching from Tanjong Rhu to Bedok. As one of the lots along the park allocated to private developers, a 30-year lease was given to Big Splash. When its lease expires in October 2016, the land will be returned to the Government for development, bringing the curtain down on Singapore's first water theme park.