Gardens by the Bay Has Changed the way we Look at Landscape Architecture Forever
Gardens by the Bay, by Grant Associates in Marina Bay, Singapore.
With the goal of creating a park that can function as an educational and recreational experience while showing the best of horticulture and garden artistry, Grant Associates designed the Gardens by the Bay park in Singapore. In doing so, the designers faced a lot of big challenges, the most complicated of which was the climate. Nevertheless, Gardens by the Bay is now one of the most beautiful tropical gardens in the word.
What distinguishes this park from other landscape projects is its conceptualization. Because of its area (54 hectares on its first phase), Grant Associates had to rethink some landscape concepts — such as circulation and pathways — while promoting new concepts, such as aerial walkways and the orchid as a main design idea.
Gardens by the Bay
Based on these intentions, the Gardens by the Bay master plan is an interactive combination of pedestrian pathways, bicycle circulations, closed green areas denominated as Cooled Conservatories, and a series of public spaces. The most relevant areas are the Cool Dry Conservatory (discovery terraces), the Cool Moist Conservatory (cloudy mountain), the Languid Lake, the Lion Grove and Supertrees, and the Flower Market/Exhibition Hall.
Well Thought Out Circulation
A park as big as Gardens by the Bay needs a well-thought-out circulation design in order to function as a real green public space. To do so, Grant Associates established two different types of pedestrian and bicycle circulation: a panoramic route and a functional path. Both circulations perform an excellent role in the park. For example, the panoramic route goes through all the areas of the park and, finally, leads you to the bay — to the sea — as a final milestone.
WATCH: Designing Gardens by the Bay | Singapore | Grant Associates
18 Supertrees for a Super Tropical Project
In the words of Architect Andrew Grant, director of Grant Associates, one of the most important aspects of the project was to break the flatness of the site. To do this, 18 supertrees were created. Their design is based on the geometry of orchids, a flower that is very common in Singapore.
25 and 50 Meters Tall
These vertical structures are between 25 and 50 meters tall and, at night, they become a spectacle of light. Because of all this, the supertrees function not only as a vertical garden full of flowering climbers, epiphytes, and ferns, but also as a vertical green sculpture.
So, what do these Supertrees do?
Together with this, Grant Associates thought about the correct function of each supertree. One of the most interesting proposals for the supertrees were the aerial walkways — floating wooden bridges that connect all the trees with each other. Finally, their geometry allows the supertrees to function as a pipe to purge hot air from the conservatories, while at the same time their structure increases the flow of fresh air among them at ground level.
2 Magnificent Cooled Conservatories
The closed areas of Gardens by the Bay are as important as the open areas. Two of the most fascinating cooled conservatories in the world are present in Gardens by the Bay. According to Grant Associates, the main intention was to generate closed horticultural spaces by building a simple structure: a grid shell that is as light as possible.
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An Incredible Design, Needs Incredible Features
The Cool Dry Conservatory (discovery terraces and dry Mediterranean climate) and the Cool Moist Conservatory (cloudy mountain) function as artificial environments in order to create an extraordinary collection of plants that would never otherwise be able to grow in Singapore.
Some of the Main Sustainable Features
To achieve this goal, both structures based their design on sustainable concepts, such as rainwater collection and reuse, use of structural beams to produce 50 percent shade, and fans located under walkways to produce air movement.
Gardens by the Bay
So, what first started as an international competition and was later developed by a multidisciplinary team including Wilkinson Eyre (architects), Atelier Ten (environmental design consultants), and Atelier One (structural engineers) ended as a cutting-edge landscape project. Because of all of its characteristics, this project is a winner of 16 awards, including The Landscape Institute Awards 2013 for Climate Change Adaptation and World Building of the Year 2012.
Full Project Credits:
Project: Gardens by the Bay
Location: Marina Bay, Singapore
Designers: Grant Associates
Area: 54 hectares on its first phase (a total of 101 hectares)
Client: National Parks Board
Completed Date: June 2012
Architects: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Engineers: Atelier One, Atelier Ten
Quantity Surveyors: Davis Langdon And Seah
Collaborators: Thomas Matthews
Project Value: £500 Million
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