Contacts
 




Keyword Site Search







Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Landscape Architecture by Grant Associates





Gardens by the Bay is divided into three main parks: Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central, covering 101 hectares of reclaimed land in downtown Singapore's Marina Bay. From the Marina Bay Hotel, visitors can take the elevated boardwalk to cross Dragonfly Lake via the Dragonfly Bridge into the Gardens by the Bay.


Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is designed to showcase the best of horticulture and gardens. Located on reclaimed land in the city's new downtown at Marina Bay, this "City in a Garden" is one of the largest projects of its kind in the world.

A Great British Collaboration
Following an international design competition, a team led by the U.K. landscape architectural firm Grant Associates (grant-associates.uk.com) was appointed in 2006 by the National Parks Board of Singapore to master plan Bay South Garden, the first and largest of the three planned gardens at Gardens by the Bay. Alongside Grant Associates was a British design team: Wilkinson Eyre (architects); Atelier Ten (environmental design consultants); Atelier One (structural engineers); Land Design Studio (museum and visitor center designers); and Thomas Matthews (communication designers).

 




The latest addition to Gardens by the Bay is to Bay South, the Children's Garden, which includes the Tadpole & Toddler splashpads and Toddler Playground (foreground). At left is a 300-people capacity canopy-sheltered event amphitheater. To the right is the Cloud Forest dome. The tri-tower structure is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel on Marina Bay, a Las Vegas Sands development designed by Israeli/Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, reportedly the most expensive ($5.7 billion U.S.--including the cost of the land) stand-alone casino in the world. A 150-meter zero-edge pool is atop the roof, precariously close to the edge (top image).



A Fusion of Nature and Technology
Taking inspiration from the form of the orchid, Grant Associates' masterplan is a rich fusion of nature, technology and environmental management. "Our brief for Gardens by the Bay was to create the most amazing tropical gardens in the world, incorporating cutting edge environmental design and sustainable development principles," explains Andrew Grant, director of Grant Associates. We had to factor in the challenges of both the Singapore climate and working on a reclaimed waterfront. We wanted to capture people's relationship with nature and use innovative technology to create rich lifestyle, educational and recreational experiences for both local residents of Singapore and visitors from around the world. All these elements informed the vision and creation of the gardens."

 




At the Children's Garden splashpad sensors detect the movement of children and respond with a sequence of water effects.



Stunning architectural structures are combined with a wide variety of horticultural displays, daily light and sound shows, lakes, forests, event spaces and a host of dining and retail offerings. The entire plan has an intelligent environmental infrastructure, allowing endangered plants, which could not normally grow in Singapore to flourish, providing both leisure and education to the nation. "We were very fortunate to work with the right team to make the vision for Gardens for the Bay work," says Keith French, project director for Gardens by the Bay at Grant Associates. "Our ethos as landscape architects is collaborative. Working with great architects, engineers and environmental specialists we created some very imaginative and innovative ideas that the National Parks Board championed. With these elements the end result at Gardens for the Bay is wonderful, impactful and powerful. It's been a dream project to work on."

Since opening in June 2012, Gardens by the Bay (gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/home.html) has received over seven million visitors, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The garden attractions include the Flower Dome; Cloud Forest; Supertree Grove; Heritage Gardens; Drangonfly & Kingfisher Lakes; Bay East Garden; World of Plants; and the Far East Organization Children's Garden. It is a showcase of horticulture and garden artistry that brings the world of plants to Singapore, and presents Singapore to the world.

 




The Toddler Play Zone, designed for 1 to 5 year olds, consists of two areas: a little play playground with a sway bridge and stepping springs, and adjacent to the bigger splashpad, their own splashpad with fish fountains, water tunnels and a series of water jets.



Children's Garden
The new Far East Organization Children's Garden opened at Singapore's Gardens by the Bay on January 21, 2014. The garden was designed by Grant Associates, the same UK landscape architects behind the Supertrees and master planners of the award-winning Bay South Garden. A major new feature of the 54 hectare Bay South Garden, the Far East Organization Children's Garden, offers a 2.5 acre mix of play experiences for all ages, including water play (tadpole and toddler splashpad), rainforest tree houses, ridge top trails and topiary pergola arches all in a special garden setting overlooking the Marina Reservoir.

Andrew Grant says the Children's Garden connects children to nature via technology, art and horticulture, and offers play opportunities not found elsewhere in Singapore. Dr. Kiat W. Tan, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, is pleased that children have a special play area in the Gardens by the Bay. He notes the garden was made possible by the strong support of Far East Organization.

 




At night, the Supertrees dazzle with lighting designed and produced by Lighting Planners Associates, a Japan-based firm. The OCBC Skyway (OCBC is a bank, the largest sponsors of Gardens by the Bay) connects two Supertrees at the Supertree Grove, running for 128 meters at a height of 22 meters, offering panoramic views of the gardens and Marina Bay. Hungry? Stop in at Supertree Dining, a bistro 50 meters up in the Supertree Grove.
Photo: Darren Chin



Children's Garden--Water Play
Water play is the centerpiece of the Far East Organization Children's Garden. Hydrovaults, water splines and orchid-shaped splash buckets create an ever-changing interactive landscape of water tunnels, water mounds and waterspouts. For the toddlers, there is a fish fountain with fish sculptures to clamber over.

Children's Garden--Tree Houses
Two tree houses, set within a thicket of rainforest trees that include quick growing ficus, bring a sense of adventure, while giving children close interaction with trees. Elevated platforms and shelters are linked by ropewalks, steps, ramps and slides. There are devices for making sounds, telescopes, climbing nets and hammock seating.

 




The Supertree Grove is a stunning display of 18 tree-like structures towering 25-50-meters. Each tree has a concrete core, a steel frame around the core, planting panels and a canopy. The trees accommodate some 162,900 plants of 200 species: bromeliads, orchids, ferns, tropical flowering climbers. Eleven of the Supertrees incorporate photovoltaic cells that help cool the two conservatories. An onsite steam turbine produces electricity and heat from waste biomass.
Photo: Darren Chin



Children's Garden--Adventure Trail
The edge of the Children's Garden follows a ridge of elevated ground that overlooks Kingfisher Lake to the south and the Marina Reservoir to the north. A series of topiary pergola arches echo the parabola arch geometry of the hydrovaults on the splashpad. Beneath the pergola is a linked series of balancing, swinging and climbing elements to give children the opportunity to enjoy a different type of forest trail.

Children's Garden--Shade and Outdoor Amphitheatre
Singapore lies on the Malay Peninsula only 85 miles north of the equator. The average high temperature year around is in the mid to high 80s, with a humidity in the low to mid 80s, so shade is an important component to any outdoor area. One mitigating factor is that it rains here on average about 178 days of the year. A leaf-shaped canopy structure provides shelter from the rain and hot sun, reaching over an outdoor amphitheater formed by stepped granolithic-finished concrete benches, which serve as a venue for different garden functions and events.

 




The Rainforest Tree Houses are a jungle adventure set within a thicket of quick growing ficus trees. The tree houses are perched 4 and 7.5 meters high above a 130-meter long trail. The tree houses give children close interaction with trees. Elevated platforms and shelters link to ropewalks, steps, ramps and slides. There are also sound making devices, telescopes, climbing nets and hammock seating.



Supertree Grove
Arguably the most stunning element of Gardens by the Bay is the Supertree Grove, an art meets arbor display of 18 reinforced concrete tree-like structures ("Supertrees") towering 25 to 50 meters. There are over 162,900 plants of 200 species (bromeliads, orchids, ferns, tropical flowering climbers) planted on the Supertrees. Eleven of the Supertrees incorporate photovoltaic cells that help cool the cooled conservatories. At night, the trees have dazzling light effects and projected media. An aerial walkway suspended from the Supertrees offers visitors a spectacular perspective of the gardens.

Enter the World of Plants
Strolling through the World of Plants is a multisensory encounter with nature, and also informative. Visitors discover how plants disperse their seeds, how mushrooms benefit rainforest communities, how plants adapt to adverse environments and view some of the most primitive plants on earth.

 




The Rainforest Trail offers a spider net, hill climbing ropes and spinner bowls.



Flowers, fruits in bloom and tropical lowland palms abound. In the Secret Life of Trees one can see and learn how to identify different types of tree species. The Web of Life offers impressive topiary of animals indigenous to Asia: orangutans, pangolins (sharp-scaled, toothless anteaters) and hornbills (long, down-curved billed birds of bright colors).

Cooled Conservatories
Just up from the Children's Garden are two impressive, large cooled conservatories, or biomes--the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, both designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects--house Mediterranean and tropical climate plants, and a rich variety of horticultural gardens designed around the themes of "plants and people," and "plants and planet."

 




There are four Heritage Gardens--Chinese, Malay (pictured), Indian and Colonial, taking visitors through the history and culture of Singapore's three main ethnic groups and its colonial past. The Malay Garden, a "Reflection of Community," stresses the role of edible fruits and medicinal plants used by the Malay population. The Kampong House (background) is a Malay design using materials in nature: a roof from Rumbia palm, the walls and floors from Nibong tree trunks, and mats and bed from bamboo. These villages in Bahasa Malaysia are called "kampongs," where the homes are on stilts (to keep cooler and out of flood waters), and have large windows.



Flower Dome
The Flower Dome is a conservatory that presents plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions of the globe. The Flower Dome replicates the plants of the Mediterranean basin, plus similar climatic regions elsewhere in the world: southwest Australia, South Africa, central Chile and parts of California. The dome is also home to a collection of plants from deserts all over the world, showcasing the adaptations of plants to arid environments. Of note are the amazing profiles of baobab trees, surrounded by a fascinating variety of succulents.

 




At the Web of Life, within the World of Plants, are eight impressive topiary of animals indigenous to Asia, such as an orangutan (left), a pangolin--a sharp scaled, toothless anteater (right), and a hornbill (long, down-curved billed bird of bright colors), all trimmed from the living foliage of the Indian laurel (Ficus microcarpa).



Cloud Forest Conservatory
Cloud Forest is a 35-meter tall mountain of lush vegetation of plant life from tropical highlands, up to 2,000-metres above sea level. Shrouded in mist, the Cloud Forest, reputedly, has the world's tallest indoor waterfall. No climbing equipment here. You ascend to the mountaintop in comfort by lift, and descend via two walkways for an aerial view of the canopy and mountainsides. Inquiring minds can learn about unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests, and the environmental threats they face within the nine unique zones of this cool-moist conservatory. The mist of the waterfall refresh visitors, just as it does the plants. High in tropical mountains plants absorb the abundant rainfall, releasing the water gradually to create a constant, long-lasting supply for the flora below.

 




Cloud Forest, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects (the gardens and landscapes inside were a collaboration between Grant Associates and Wilkinson Eyre Architects), is a cooled, misty conservatory with a 35-meter tall mountain featuring nine zones of tropical highlands flora (up to 2,000-metres elevation). The mountain is densely planted with a mixture of orchids, delicate ferns, a dazzling variety of colorful bromeliads and begonias, which are all epiphytic--meaning they normally grow upon other plants, but not in a parasitic manner. These plants require little substrate and are perfectly adapted for growing on walls. Visitors ascend to the mountaintop in a lift, and descend via two "walkways in the clouds" for an aerial view of the canopy and mountainsides.
Photo: Craig Sheppard



The mountain is densely planted with a mixture of orchids, delicate ferns, a dazzling variety of colorful bromeliads and begonias, and even carnivorous pitcher plants. All of these plants are epiphytic--meaning they usually grow upon other plants, but in a nonparasitic manner, requiring little substrate and perfectly adapted for growing on vertical walls. Singapore's parks and gardens sends discarded plant matter to a biomass furnace to provide energy to cool the air in both conservatories.

 




Cloud Forest, reputedly, has the world's tallest indoor waterfalls, which are lit at night.
Photo: Craig Sheppard



Heritage Gardens--Four Horticultural Treasures
How did the indigenous Malays live in precolonial Singapore? Why did the British chose Singapore as a trading port? What is the connection between literature and poetry in China, or religion and reflection in India? These and other questions are answered in the Heritage Gardens, four themed gardens: Chinese, Malay, Indian and Colonial. The gardens take you through the history and culture of Singapore's three main ethnic groups and its colonial past. The Malay Garden, a "Reflection of Community," stresses the role of edible fruits and medicinal plants used by the Malay population. The Colonial Garden, a "Reflection of Ambition," delves into plant transportation and profitable crops that have shaped Singapore's history and economy.

 




The Children's Gardens splashpad puts on a spectacularly choreographed water, light and music show. Waterworks International introduced their next generation brass LED RGB deck jet and deck light features.
Photo: Waterworks International



"Outstanding Achievement"
Gardens by the Bay was the recipient of the 2014 "Award for Outstanding Achievement" from the Themed Entertainment Association (20th annual Thea Awards), and it's easy to see why. From the Children's Garden, to the impressive domed conservatories, to the amazing Supertree Grove and the various themed gardens and lakes, it's safe to say this is a unique, ambitious venue that has set an awfully high standard of excellence in garden design and horticulture education, while providing plenty of outdoor physical activities to keep youngsters fully engaged.

 




The Flower Dome, the other conservatory on site built by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, southwest Australia, California (coast, interior valleys and western slope of the Sierra Nevada), central Chile and parts of Spain and Italy. Of note are the amazing profiles of baobabs (South Africa and Madagascar), surrounded by a fascinating variety of succulents.
Photo: Craig Sheppard





Children's Garden Team
Grant Associates led the team responsible for the Far East Organization Children's Garden. The firm is a leading British landscape architecture consultancy that fuses nature and technology in imaginative ways, working in conjunction with some of the world's leading architects and designers. PMLink (project manager); Langdon & Seah Singapore (quantity surveyor); LPA Inc. (lighting consultants); WET (irrigation consultants); Swee Hong (main contractor); Play Point Singapore (play equipment); Carve (treehouses); Howeler & Yoon (original concepts for water play); CT-Art Creation (water play); Candy Floriculture (topiaries contractor).

 




The Flower Dome, the other conservatory on site built by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, southwest Australia, California (coast, interior valleys and western slope of the Sierra Nevada), central Chile and parts of Spain and Italy. Of note are the amazing profiles of baobabs (South Africa and Madagascar), surrounded by a fascinating variety of succulents.
Photo: Craig Sheppard



Gardens by the Bay Team
Client: National Parks Board of Singapore Grant Associates (lead designers); Wilkinson Eyre Architects; Atelier Ten (environmental design consultants); Atelier One (structural engineers); Land Design Studio (museum and visitor center designers); Thomas Matthews (communication designers); Squint Opera (animations); and Buro 4 (design management).

Singapore Consultants
CPG (architecture, civil, structural and M&E engineering); Meinhardt Infrastructure (civil and structural engineering); Langdon Seah (cost consultants); LPA (lighting design); PMLink (project management); and WET (irrigation).

 





The adventure trail has a series of topiary pergola arches that echo the parabola arch geometry of the hydrovaults on the splashpad. Beneath the pergola is a linked series of balancing, clambering, swinging and climbing elements.




The Children's Garden is the newest addition to the Gardens by the Bay.

 

 







Comment Box is loading comments...

Related Stories




October 17, 2019, 9:04 am PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.
Privacy Policy