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First look at Wilkinson Eyre and Grant's Singapore supertrees

A massive tropical park in Singapore designed by Wilkinson Eyre and landscape architects Grant Associates will open next week (29 June)

The 54-hectare £500million Bay South Garden scheme, which the design team won following an international contest in 2006, features 18 supertrees and two giant biomes and is part of the wider Gardens by the Bay project.

Once fully completed the 101-hectare waterside site will comprise three distinct gardens – Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central.

The Wilkinson Eyre-designed biomes - the Flower Dome (1.2 hectare) and the Cloud Forest Dome (0.8 hectare) – display plants and flowers from the Mediterranean-type climatic regions and Tropical Montane (Cloud Forest) environments and are being billed as ‘two of the largest cooled conservatories in the world’.

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Andrew Grant of Grant Associates said: ‘Our brief for Gardens by the Bay was to create the most amazing tropical gardens in the world, incorporating cutting edge environmental design and sustainable development principles.

‘We had to factor in the challenges of both the Singaporean climate and working on a reclaimed waterfront. We wanted to capture people’s relationship with nature and use innovative technology to create rich lifestyle, educational and recreational experiences for both local residents of Singapore and visitors from around the world. All these elements informed the vision and creation of the gardens.’

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay project opens to the public on 29 June following completion of the 54-hectare £500m Bay South Garden by Wilkinson Eyre and Grant Associates.

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay project opens to the public on 29 June following completion of the 54-hectare £500m Bay South Garden by Wilkinson Eyre and Grant Associates.

Supertrees facts:

  • Designed by Grant Associates the Supertrees are vertical gardens ranging from 25 to 50 metres in height (equivalent to 9 to 16 storeys) housing tropical flowering climbers, epiphytes and ferns. 
  • There are Supertrees within Bay South at Gardens by the Bay. Out of the 18 Supertrees, 12 are in the Supertree Grove while the remaining six are placed in clusters of threes near the Arrival Square and Dragonfly Lake.
  • Given the relatively short time span to create a garden from reclaimed land, the Supertrees provide an immediate scale and dimension to the Gardens while marrying the form and function of mature trees. They also create height to balance the current and future tall developments in the Marina Bay area.
  • In the day the Supertrees’ large canopies provide shade and shelter. At night, the Supertrees ‘come alive’ with lighting and projected media created by Lighting Planners Associates.
  • A 128-metre-long aerial walkway designed by Grant Associates connects the two 42-metre Supertrees in the Supertree Grove, allowing visitors to take in a different view of the Gardens from a height of 22 metres.
  • The 50-metre Supertree has a treetop bistro designed by Wilkinson Eyre offering a panoramic view of the Gardens and surrounding Marina Bay area.

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Construction

The Supertree comprises four major parts created by structural engineers Atelier One:

  • Reinforcement concrete core – Inner vertical structure that upholds the Supertree
  • Trunk – A steel frame attached around the reinforcement concrete core
  • Planting panels – Installed on the trunk in preparation for the planting of the living skin
  • Canopy – Shaped like an inverted umbrella, the canopy was assembled and hoisted via a hydraulic jack system (with the exception of the 50m Supertree canopy assembled at its final height).


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