Announcement of Winning Design Teams for Gardens by the Bay International Master Plan Competition and Official Opening of Tanglin Core at Singapore Botanic Gardens

05 Sep 2006 "Announcement of Winning design teams for GB international master plan competition and official opening of Tanglin Core at SBG

Singapore's Gardens by the Bay project - which is set to build three major public gardens on the waterfront - has named two design teams as joint winners of an international master plan competition. They are:

(1) Grant Associates, a landscape architecture consultancy based in Bath, England, in collaboration with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Atelier One, Atelier Ten, and Land Design Studios from the United Kingdom (UK); Meinhardt Infrastructure Pte Ltd, and Davis Langdon and Seah Singapore Pte Ltd from Singapore.

(2) Gustafson Porter, an international landscape design practice based in London, in collaboration with Ove Arup (UK), and Davis Langdon and Seah Singapore Pte Ltd.

The competition, organised by Singapore?s NParks and launched in January this year, drew over 70 entries submitted by 170 firms, of which 21 percent were from Singapore firms, from 24 countries.

Last month, eight short-listed teams of international design firms made presentations on their submissions and scale models of their designs to an 11-member international jury, chaired by Dr Kiat W. Tan, Adviser to NParks and Project Director of Gardens by the Bay. The teams had been selected based on criteria including track record, relevant experience, international award, design philosophy and approach. They included firms from the United States, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

On the overall standard of submissions, Dr Tan said: ?The eight designs were of very high quality and provided many creative and excellent design ideas for the Gardens. After careful deliberation and having given due consideration to the aesthetic appeal, implementability and flexibility of the designs, the Jury was unanimous in its decision that there were two designs that best met the Gardens? vision and programmatic brief. It decided that the two teams be awarded as joint winners of this Competition.?

Grant Associates? recent projects include the New Islington Millennium Village in Manchester, a sustainable township near Granada in Spain and Chongqing Botanical Garden in China. They had also worked on several award-winning projects, such as the Earth Centre and the Yorkshire Artspace projects in the UK which had won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award.

Of the Grant Associates team, the judges said: ?The design concept for the Garden at Marina South captures the essence of a Garden in a downtown setting ? the experience of colour and vibrancy across 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, all year round. This was achieved by the strategic location of display gardens and activity spaces, with careful consideration given to day and night programming. The concept for the Conservatory was also attractive and technically implementable. The application of sustainable energy systems and the introduction of the ?Super Trees? as iconic structures could give the Garden an extra ?wow? factor.?

Gustafson Porter?s recent projects include the Westergasfabriek Culture Park in Amsterdam, the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanical Garden of Wales and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, London.

Of the Gustafson Porter team, the judges said: ?The design concept for the Garden at Marina East positioned it as a key Garden, leveraging off the attractive views it offers of the city skyline, looking across the water. It sought to create an intimate relationship between the Gardens and the Bay, and provided spaces and display gardens to generate interest and vibrancy. The strength of the design was in the way it addressed the site conditions, thereby bringing forth the essence of Marina Bay in a subtle and elegant manner.?

The Jury decided not to select a winning design for the Garden at Marina Centre. They felt that it should await further feedback from the public regarding what they wish for this strategic linear garden by the bay with a waterfront promenade stretching 2.8 km.

An exhibition of the winning designs and scale models is on at the Function Hall in the new Botany Centre (next to the Green Pavilion), Tanglin Core, Singapore Botanic Gardens from 6 to 24 Sept 2006 (7 am ? 8 pm daily). They can also be viewed on the Gardens by the Bay website. These are master plans by the winning teams, and represent the conceptual stage and not the final designs. Ideas and views from the public will be considered and, where appropriate, will be used to flesh out and refine the final design. Gardens by the Bay is slated for opening in phases starting from 2010.

One of the members of the international jury, Prof Fumihiko Maki, Principal of Maki & Associates in Japan and winner of the 1993 Pritzker Architecture Prize, said: ?Because of their very strategic position in the centre of the city, these gardens, when fully realised, will bring tremendous change to the character of the downtown and surrounding areas. We are looking forward very much to the time when they will be completed.?

[View the two winning designs] [Give us any feedback on the winning designs]

Official Opening of Tanglin Core, Singapore Botanic Gardens

At the same ceremony, Minister Mah also officiated the opening of Tanglin Core including the Botany Centre at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The Botany Centre houses the heart and soul of the Botanic Gardens - its research and educational facilities. These enhanced facilities, which include the herbarium, laboratories and library, will play an important role in furthering the Gardens' position as a leading tropical botanic garden and institution for research and education. The Botany Centre was one of 17 developments which received the 2006 Green Mark Awards in April this year for its environmentally friendly design.

Taking centrestage at the Botany Centre is a green pavilion featuring Singapore's first pitched green roof. A celebration of Nature's resilience, the green roof showcases hardy plants like epiphytes, the Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) and the Tiger Orchid (Gramatophyllum speciosum). The green roof is a pilot project and forms part of NParks' efforts to leverage on new technology to promote skyrise greenery.

The facilities at the Botany Centre have also been carefully designed to further the Gardens' efforts to connect plants and people. For instance, the orchid breeding and micropropagation laboratory has been designed with viewing windows to provide an overview of the various stages in creating a new hybrid.

Visitors can also engage in research on plants, plant care, botany and horticulture at the Public Reference Centre. Featuring a leisure reading area with comfortable sofa seats, the Public Reference Centre will also offer a plant clinic and a self-help collection of herbarium specimens to allow students, nature lovers and budding gardeners to identify their own plants.

Commenting these latest developments, Mr Ng Lang, CEO, NParks said: ?The development of Gardens by the Bay and redevelopment of Tanglin Core at Botanic Gardens are integral to our efforts to evolve Singapore into a City in a Garden that will provide the best home for our people and advance Singapore?s competitive edge as a global city of distinction. While the Botanic Gardens will continue to focus on its roles in botanical collections, research and education, Gardens by the Bay will become an iconic showcase of horticultural excellence focusing on mass floral displays and creative plant-based edutainment?.

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Last updated on 19 November 2014

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