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Gardens by the Bay

17 Feb 2011 From Garden City to City in a Garden
  • Singapore is embarking on a paradigm shift as it develops from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden" in a global city, with a much more holistic and all-encompassing programme to enhance greenery and flora, and so, to raise the quality of life in Singapore significantly.
  • The Gardens by the Bay (GB) is a project by the National Parks Board (NParks) that realises this paradigm shift; as Singapore enters into its next phase of development.
  • GB will be a premier development leading this new phase, positioned to the best international standards and applying cutting-edge innovations in environmentally- friendly technology, sustainable natural resource management and other aspects. It will be a gem on the "necklace of attractions" at Marina Bay to boost Singapore's international attractiveness as a place to live, work and play.

About Gardens by the Bay

  • The Gardens by the Bay will occupy 101 hectares of prime land by the water and will become part of Marina Bay. Situated at the heart of Singapore's next phase of development as a global city, the Gardens is an integral part of Singapore's "City in a Garden" vision in which the island-state is woven into a green and floral tapestry.
  • Under this plan, Gardens by the Bay will capture the essence of Singapore as the premier tropical City in a Garden with the perfect environment in which to live, work and play.
  • The first phase of the Gardens is targeted to open in 2012.

Three Unique Gardens

Gardens by the Bay will comprise three distinctive waterfront gardens - Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central.

  • Bay South - Bay South is the largest garden and it stands at 54 hectares. It will be located next to the Marina Bay integrated resort. Designed by UK-based landscape architecture firm Grant Associates, this lively and vibrant garden will showcase the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry, with a mass display of tropical flowers and coloured foliage and more. Key highlights are:

Conservatory Complex

The Conservatory Complex will be an architectural icon, a horticultural attraction and a showcase of sustainable energy technology.

Comprising to diomes - the Flower Dome (1.2 hectare) and the Cloud Forest (0.8 hectare)  - that display plants and flowers from the Mediterranean-type climatic regions and Tropical Montane (Cloud Forest) environments respectively, the Conservatory Complex will provide an all-weather "edutainment" space within the Gardens.

To ascertain the environmentally sensitive energy requirements of the Conservatory, NParks commissioned an energy modeling study. The study has shown that, by applying the latest cooling technologies, the energy consumption for the Conservatory is comparable to that of an average commercial building in Singapore of the same footprint and height, normalised to a 24-hour cooling period.


Designed as tree-like structures between 25 metres and 50 metres in height (9 to 16 storeys), the Supertrees are uniquely designed vertical gardens, with emphasis placed on creating a "wow" factor through the vertical display of tropical flowering climbers, epiphytes and ferns. At night, these canopies will come alive with lighting and projected media.

Given our equatorial climate, the grove of Supertrees will help to ameliorate discomfort by providing shade and shelter with the canopy.

The Supertrees will also be embedded with sustainable energy and water technologies that are integral to the cooling of the Conservatory.

Horticultural Themed Gardens

These gardens will showcase the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry.

There are 2 collections, namely the Heritage Gardens and the World of Plants, which centre on the subjects: 'Plants and People' and 'Plants and Planet'. Together with mass flowering and coloured foliage landscape, they will form a spectacle of colour and texture and fragrance within the Gardens, providing a mesmerising experience for visitors.

Heritage Gardens:

This is a collection of 4 gardens that reflects the history and culture of Singapore's main ethnic groups, as well as the city-state's colonial heritage.

- The Malay Garden tells the story of life in a traditional "kampong" (village).

- The Indian Garden's layout echoes a traditional illustrated flower motif.

- The Chinese Garden reflects the role of gardens in Chinese culture as places of inspiration for writers, poets and artists, through seclusion and tranquility.

- The Colonial Garden tells the story of plants as "Engines of Empire" – lucrative crops, spices and plants that formed important trade routes between the East and the West.

The World of Plants:

The second collection of gardens are based on the theme "plants and planet" and showcase the biodiversity of plant life on our planet. There are 6 gardens in total:

- Secret Life of Trees. This Garden examines trees, what they are, their functions and their evolutio. It will also investigates the role of trees in the rainforest.

- World of Palms.  This garden will celebrate the rich diversity of the world of tropical palms and their particular ecological niches. Different shapes of fronds and seeds, as well  as the versatile use of palms will also be highlighted.

- Understorey.  It will feature the forest root zone & plant species of the forest floor. Stories will include how plants have adapted to the specific environments such as low light levels and poor soil as well as the cycle of decomposition.

- Fruits and Flowers . This garden is about the amazing world of flowers and fruits. There will be stories about the form and function of flowers and fruits, why plants need flowers and fruits and the domestication of rainforest fruits.

- Discovery Garden.  This garden will tell the history of botanical discovery, plant hunting and exploration in Singapore and South East Asia in the past, present and future, illustrating how role of botanist has changed today. Plant hunting today has become an important aspect of conservationa nd biodiversity.

- Web of Life.  This node focuses on the interrelationship of rainforest flora with fauna. The main subject wil be the web of life. This will include the keystone species and food chains in the tropical rainforest. The focus will be on the fig as keystone species.

Concert Lawn

This will be a 2 ha event lawn with a stage. It will have capacity for hosting up to 30,000 people during international and national events.

  • Bay East - Sitting in the western bank of Marina Barrage, Bay East is 32 hectares in size. The designer selected for this garden is UK-based landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Porter.

    Key highlights include a serene ambience that will foster a more "intimate relationship" between the Marina Bay and the Gardens, and water gardens with terraces that cascade down to the Bay's edge - giving visitors an intimate relationship with its shorelines and wonderful views across to the financial district skyline.

Food Gardens

Rice paddies, pools of water chestnut and lotus descend down to the water's edge, where aquatic and other plants merge with the shoreline. Here, eating and planting can be themed, as other attractions explore the planting contexts of the tropical regions from highland to lowland.

Water Gardens

Here, water permeates the aesthetics of the Gardens in many ways, from the scale of the Bay and its boating activities, through to water seeping through the rock face of a ravine.

Themed Building

An applied research and edutainment centre that will tell the story of water in nature, and teach in a creative and interactive manner the symbiotic relationship between plants, animals and water in an aquatic ecosystem.

Water Sports Arena

The Boat House Piazza ramps downwards to the water's edge, where it enters the water as a slipway. Vehicles can move and turn across its surface bringing boats to the water's edge and at least two pontoons can be set out into the water inlet formed by the ramp. The frenzy of boating competition activity can then be viewed from stepped timber decks.

  • Bay Central - This garden will serve as a link between Bay South to Bay East. It will have a 3km waterfront promenade with stunning views of the city.
Last updated on 20 November 2014

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