Gardens By The Bay by Grant Associates

18 steel supertrees are wrapped in growing foliage, supporting a curvaceous bridge.

SINGAPORE – Spread across 101 hectares of reclaimed land in Singapore's waterfront, a horticultural feast awaits visitors at the World Architecture Festival 2012.

Landscape architects, Grant Associates, designed three distinct garden bays including 18 supertrees, which range from 25 to 50m, asserting iconic points in the master plan. Two cooled conservatories designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and a stretch of horticultural gardens, which include animals sculpted from shrubbery, are also highlights in this green showcase.

‘At one level, Gardens by the Bay is a dramatic 3D garden experience,' says Keith French, project director. 'At another it is a sophisticated example of integrated environmental design.'

Mixing nature, technology and environmental notes, the orchid-inspired master plan facilitates the growth of endangered species and plants from Mediterranean and tropical regions in the two giant biodomes. Over an entire hectare of different flower species are hosted within the Flower Dome, and the Cloud Forest Dome contains 0.8 hectares of tropical plants.

The design encourages the public to interact with the project through a suspended, spiraling bridge which is attached to the supertrees for support. Visitors are encouraged to view the giant garden from many levels. A host of dining and retail facilities, as well as light and sound shows support the programme.

At night, the canopies glow with colours and projected media, offering an active landscape for visitors to admire. Sustainable energy and water technologies are integrated into the supertrees and cooling conservatories. Mass flowering, coloured foliage, texture and fragrance mix with technological grit to compose this ornate landscape.

Photos courtesy of Grant Associates

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