The Making of a Wonder Garden of wonders


Since formally opening its doors in 2012, we glance back at the engineering, architectural and horticultural feat that is Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay.

There is a reason why olive trees don’t seem to be found within the tropics. The native Mediterranean species thrives in bright sunshine, however, needs chillier temperatures involved flowers and fruit. Hence, once a fruit tree in equatorial Singapore, calculable to be over a 1000 years recent, with success blossomed and later fruited in 2015, it had been a testament to the engineering and horticultural achievement that’s Gardens by the Bay, the  101-hectare park situated within the urban the downtown of the city-state.

First planned by Dr. Kiat W. Tan, plant scientist, and former chief executive of Gardens by the Bay, the thought of constructing a foremost garden within the tropics, on saved land, south of Singapore’s monetary center, appeared utterly outrageous at the time.


It is hard to imagine that this horticultural destination was once the sea, then sand and soggy soil. Yet, in an exceedingly comparatively short 5 years up to its official gap in 2012, An inter-disciplinary team of international and native architects, engineers, and landscape specialists with success reworked a barren site deprived of roads, drains and electricity into a lush green space area wherever over one million plants reside. Plants, trees, and flowers from each continent, every continent, are often found within the Gardens.

Then there are the heroic structures: the Supertrees, high unreal trees mensuration up to sixteen stories tall; and also the 2 cooled conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. On the far side being superlative attractions designed to capture the imagination of the general public, most structures were inventively made to be energy economical in their use of water and energy.

Now quite fifty million people have visited from around the world, we glance back at the marvellous thinking that has gone into Gardens by the Bay.

A Singapore Icon

The first sight that greets each traveller at Gardens by the Bay is that the funnel-shaped canopies of wintry, steel branches set atop high steel and concrete trunks mensuration between twenty-five to fifty meters tall. Mysterious and fantastic, the Supertree Grove invariably evokes comment, speculation and a way of marvel and awe.

The character and scale of the grove were impressed naturally – and fiction. Appointed landscape architects, Grant Associates, took cues from the mighty Karri trees of

southwestern Australia, a species illustrious to become old to eighty meters tall, similarly because of the wizardly forest within the anime film ‘Princess Mononoke’ by the Japanese film studio, Studio Ghibli.

The Supertrees play very important functions within the Garden. One acts as an air exhaust (similar to the ecological functions of real trees) for the 2 conservatories; eleven have solar photovoltaic cells embedded into their canopies for the harvesting of solar energy. Over time, the trees became thriving ‘vertical gardens’ during which roughly 159,000 epiphytes – orchids, ferns, bromeliads, and flowering vines – grow on panels put in on their trunks.

Unknown to most guests is a Supertree that acts as a chimney stack. It expels non-toxic fumes from a biomass boiler wherever plant waste from Gardens by the Bay and other parts of components of Singapore is burnt and reborn into fuel. The burnt waste powers a turbine that afterward produces a part of the energy required to sit back the 2 cooled conservatories, reducing the energy used from external sources.

Lit up within the evenings, the diligent trees continue multi-tasking with their terribly own lightweight and sound show exploitation vibrant sequent lighting and music, illuminating the darkness associated providing abundant visual enjoyment from an aerial perspective.

A fusion of nature, art, and technology, it’s no surprise that the Super trees became landmarks of Singapore instantly recognizable to all or any. Underneath the domes it was the Roman Emperor, Tiberius, who pioneered the world’s initial greenhouse in 30 AD. Product of stone and mica, it absolutely was heated by fires outside the structure, making the best conditions to grow his crop of choice: cucumbers. The fashionable glass-clad greenhouse, or conservatory, doesn’t depend upon such heat sources. Instead, it traps solar power to make a heat, temperature-controlled environment; good for plants that wouldn’t otherwise thrive within the cold outdoors.

In the tropics, the converse applies. Cooled conservatories were a part of Dr. Tan’s original vision for Gardens by the Bay to showcase plants alien to the tropics.

However, these would be no standard conservatories, however, 2 supersized glass domes. In fact, Flower Dome was recognized because of the largest glass greenhouse within the world by the 2015 Guinness World Records.

Wilkinson Eyre, the winning architects, drew up plans for conservatories that not solely pushed the boundaries of engineering, however, were additionally aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient.

Both domes are created from near 6,000 items of coated state-of-the-art, double-glazed glass panels that permit sixty-six percent of external light and thirty-three percent of external heat through. A system of steel gridshell and arches protects and stabilizes the domes. An absence of columns makes sure that no shadows are sewed the plants and that they will get pleasure from the maximum amount as daylight as possible.

Today, millions of visitors have visited the 1.2 hectare Flower Dome for its Mediterranean-zone flora, and the 0.8 area unit Cloud Forest to ascend its 35-meter high synthetic mountain slope adorned with plants from tropical mountains, and feel the mist from the world’s tallest indoor water. With temperatures unbroken typically between twenty-three to twenty-five degrees centigrade, the domes additionally supply welcome respite from Singapore’s tropical heat.