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WAF blog: How architects abstracted the rainforest

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The ‘abstracted rainforest’ as Andrew Grant of Grant Associates describes the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is not only a spectacular design but also a celebration of a superb client and a design team that has become almost a seamless whole

All the key players - Wilkinson Eyre, Grant Associates, Atelier One and Atelier Ten, are British and the scale of the project was such that they made regular visits together to Singapore, at the height of activity spending one week a month here. As a result, said Atelier Ten’s founder Patrick Bellew, they had more time for in-depth discussions than is customary - and the project benefitted.

Jim Eyre of Wilkinson Eyre explained that the project ‘rethinks the conservatory’. Whereas the concern in most conservatories is to keep plants warm, in this case they need to be cooled - but without excluding light. The cleverly designed cooling system is virtually carbon neutral, fuelled by wood waste, and the super-trees that add visual excitement are also used to disguise technical elements.

This is a project that is as exciting at night as during the day, and tests out technical solutions that may have application elsewhere. 


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