British landscape architects Grant Associates are behind the Bay South Garden project. Covering an area of 54 hectares on Marina Bay, Singapore, it is the largest of the three gardens that comprise the Gardens by the Bay project.
Highlights of the complex are its ‘Cooled Conservatories’ and ‘Supertrees’. The two Cooled Conservatories, located on the waterfront to maximize the entry of sunlight for plants, are similar but have differently formed spaces. They form the key architectural feature. Incorporated into the glass roof – which is among the largest glass structures in the world, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects in consultation with Atelier One (structural) and Atelier Ten (environmental engineering) – are two large domes, which are home to two biomes. The Flower Dome recreates the cool-dry Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical climates, while the Cloud Dome recreates the cold-damp climate of tropical mountains. Selective glass that maximizes sunlight while minimizing the build-up of heat, an automated system that controls shade within the domes, and an efficient dehumidification system integrated into the cooling process are some of the sustainable energy solutions that allow the structures to consume an equivalent amount of power to a normal commercial building with the same footprint and height.
The Supertrees, eighteen tree structures ranging from 25 to 50 metres in height, have a reinforced concrete core with a metal framework for growing a vertical garden of over 200 different plant species (ferns, orchids, vines and epiphytes). They provide shade and shelter from the equatorial climate, as well as contribute to cleaning the air in this large city. Built using eco-friendly materials, they are fitted with photovoltaic panels, solar collectors, ventilation ducts, and a system for collecting and reusing of rainwater for irrigation. The highest Supertree has a treetop bar, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. An aerial walkway suspended 42 metres above the ground stretches between two of the tallest trees, offering spectacular views of the city and botanical garden.
Lighting Planners Associates created the nocturnal lighting system, which includes multimedia shows. This ambitious project set out to make environmental sustainability its primary goal and key strength.