Gardens by the Bay is part of a redevelopment project at Marina Bay in Singapore that showcases sustainable practices and plants from around the world. The 250 acre park, designed by Grant Associates, is part of a larger goal to turn Singapore into a “city in a garden”. It was created as an eco-tourist destination and a place of pride for locals to enjoy.
Perhaps the most notable attraction in the gardens is the grove of 18 “Supertrees”. The manmade trees are vertical gardens that generate solar power, vent air for the nearby conservatories, and collect rainwater. They range from 82 to 164 feet (25 to 50 meters) in height and are a breathtaking sight, especially at night when they light up the city and can be seen for miles around.
Each of the trees serves a variety of functions. Some are equipped with photovoltaic panels that collect energy from the sun to generate electricity for the park and to pump water to the top of the tree. Some of the trees collect rainwater for watering the plants, and some serve as air intake and exhaust towers to help regulate the temperature and humidity within the park and conservatories.
11 Supertrees have canopies embedded with environmentally sustainable functions.
Some will have photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy for lighting up the Supertrees. Others are integrated with the cooled conservatories and serve as air exhaust receptacles. – Gardens by the Bay
The Supertrees are planted with over 162,900 plants – more than 200 species of tropical flowering plants, ferns, orchids, and bromeliads from around the world. In addition to collecting and dispersing heat, the large canopies of the trees provide visitors shade from the sun and respite from Singapore’s intense midday temperatures.
Two of the trees are connected by an arial walkway from which the park can be viewed from the sky. The walkway gives visitors a closeup look at the fascinating technicalities of the Supertrees while offering panoramic views of the gardens and bay skyline below.
The two conservatories, seen in the image below, are climate-controlled biomes that house thousands of plant species. Horticulture waste from these domes helps power a steam turbine that keeps the domes cool.
Comprising two glass biomes, the Conservatories replicate the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean and semi-arid sub-tropical regions and the cool-moist climate of the Tropical Montane region. They house a diverse collection of plants that are not commonly seen in this part of the world and are of high conservation value.
The conservatories are a statement in sustainable engineering and apply a suite of cutting-edge technologies for energy-efficient solutions in cooling. This suite of technologies can help to achieve at least 30% savings in energy consumption, compared to conventional cooling technologies. – Gardens by the Bay
Besides being a beautiful attraction for locals and tourists to enjoy, this project shows how creative, sustainable design can have a massively positive impact on an urban landscape. Grant Associates followed through on their vision to “blend nature, technology, environmental management and imagination” and won several sustainability, landscaping, and architectural awards for their efforts. Read more about the Supertrees, and Singapore’s sustainability efforts, at Gardens by the Bay and Grant Associates.