City in a Garden

Tuesday 04 Sep 2012

A showcase for the best tropical horticulture, garden artistry and integrated environmental design

Bay South at Gardens by the Bay is a 54 hectare garden at the heart of the Marina South expansion of Downtown Singapore. The project set out to reinforce Singapore‘s global identity as a ‘City in a Garden'  whilst creating  a major new public park for Singaporeans and providing a showcase for the best tropical horticulture, garden artistry and integrated environmental design.

Bay South is structured around a range of thematic gardens which explore the twin themes of "what plants do for us" and "what plants do for the planet". The project creates a pervasive garden ambience which celebrates the richness and sensory delight of tropical flora from the natural world. At the same time it is a living textbook of educational storylines that relate to cultural history, environmental technologies, and natural processes.

Two Cooled Conservatories create the environmental conditions to showcase an extended range of sub tropical plants, and provide an educational resource and a multifunctional venue for events and functions. The Flower Dome celebrates flora from the Mediterranean climatic zone, and the Cloud Forest provides a setting for cool, high altitude tropical montane flora.

Eighteen Supertrees create a series of magical, vertical, biodiverse gardens ranging in height from 25 to 50 metres.These structures are also the environmental engines for the Conservatories and help create a shaded grove at ground level and establish an iconic landmark for the gardens.

The project was launched as an International Design competition in 2006 and was opened to the public of Singapore in June 2012.

The project has attracted over 1million visitors in its first 7 weeks of opening and has attracted media attention from across the globe. The general feedback from TV, newspaper, journals, social media and personal surveys has been almost universally positive. The project is fully delivering as an international iconic tourism project whilst also attracting and providing a resource for local people.

From the client's perspective the project has reinforced the reputation of the National Parks Board and the Singapore Government as innovators in the planning of a sustainable high density contemporary city.

The project is already providing a high profile exemplar for many innovative environmental technologies such as Biomass Energy plant, Photovoltaic arrays, use of liquid desiccants in cooling systems, integrated water management, habitats creation and it is already internationally recognised as a pioneering project for demonstrating integrated design and management of green and blue infrastructure within modern cities.

The full economic and social benefits of the project will be seen when the surrounding built development is in place but it can already be seen that the immediate land values are significantly uplifted and the site is providing a valuable asset for the whole Singapore community. It has become a key destination at night, a major venue for outdoor events, a popular eating and drinking destination and a pleasant place to walk and exercise within attractive gardens.

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