Engineering and interpretation: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore


Singapore's new waterfront gardens are an extraordinary tour de force of British design and engineering expertise.

Essential to this is the creation of controlled cool environments in the two biomes which are prominent features of the scheme. One recreates Mediterranean springtime, while another recreates the cool mist of tropical mountains.

The consultants developed strategies for controlling conditions within the biomes and Singapore's humid environment while minimising energy. The towering steel clad concrete supertrees combine a number of functions from supply and exhaust plant, housing sun and rainwater-harvesting systems as well as being part of the language of the landscaping. These clusters of ‘supertrees’ have already become the enduring image of the projects’ success. Engineer Mark Whitby recently described the project as “a modern wonder of the world”.

An equally unusual element of the project is the collaboration with Peter Higgins of Land Design Studio who was involved from the outset to develop ways of telling the stories about the project to the visiting public to ensure that the sustainability story is carefully and entertainingly told to the visiting public.

The project is intended to be a national and international exemplar of sustainable practice and has already won a number of awards since opening in 2012.

Patrick Bellew is founder and director of Atelier Ten engineers whose practice has pioneered a number of ground-breaking environmental projects on an international stage.
Neil Thomas is founder and director of Atelier One engineers who created the tree structure.
Peter Higgins is creative director at Land Design Studio who developed the interpretation and many of the animated and static exhibits that describe the design and the processes.

Free to attend. Booking essential.