Start of enhancement works for the new Tropical Montane Orchidetum at National Orchid Garden to showcase greater variety of orchid exhibits
30 Jun 2017
Refreshed orchid exhibits at the Tropical Montane Orchidetum comprising The Sembcorp Cool House, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad House, and Secret Ravine to be ready in 2019
Singapore, 30 June 2017 – The National Parks Board (NParks) today announced the start of enhancement works for the National Orchid Garden, located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The enhancements will focus on the new Tropical Montane Orchidetum, comprising The Sembcorp Cool House, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House and Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad House, all of which will be connected by the Secret Ravine. The consolidation of the Cool House, Bromeliad House and Mist House into one curated attraction will increase the combined display area by three times. The enhancement of the 22-year-old National Orchid Garden will strengthen the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ role in orchid conservation, breeding and research, while cultivating in visitors a greater appreciation for orchids. The enhancements are targeted to complete in 2019 and the cost of these works will be partially borne by contributions from the community. These contributions include a S$10 million donation by Sembcorp Industries, made in line with the company’s longstanding commitment to give back to its communities. This is the largest single donation to the Garden City Fund to date, and will go towards the upgrading of The Sembcorp Cool House.
Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong officiated a ceremony this evening to mark the start of works at the Orchid Garden, together with Mr Ang Kong Hua, Chairman of Sembcorp Industries. The ceremony also kick-started festivities for the annual Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival, which will run from 30 June to 9 July 2017.
New Tropical Montane Orchidetum at National Orchid Garden to be completed by 2019
When the enhancement works are completed in 2019, the National Orchid Garden will welcome visitors to the new Tropical Montane Orchidetum showcasing the most diversity of orchids ranging from those found in the rich mid to high-elevation montane forest, in a single location in Singapore. A new Secret Ravine will take visitors seamlessly from the mid forest zones of the Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad House, to the tropical garden in the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, continuously into the cool, tropical upper montane atmosphere of The Sembcorp Cool House. The Tropical Montane Orchidetum will also be home to the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ hybrids, which can only be seen in the Gardens.
The Sembcorp Cool House will showcase rare orchids at higher elevations
The Sembcorp Cool House will be installed with optimal system designs that meet energy efficiency and sustainability requirements. This will also provide more opportunities to grow and bring to flower rare orchids found naturally at higher elevations while paving the way for greater conservation possibilities. In addition, there will be a four-fold increase in the plant display area in The Sembcorp Cool House, to allow visitors intimate access to the orchids and other plants located at the higher levels.
Chairman of Garden City Fund Professor Leo Tan said, “We are pleased that individuals and corporate partners such as Sembcorp have rendered such great support for the National Orchid Garden enhancement programme. The enhanced Orchid Garden will exhibit a greater variety of orchids for visitors to appreciate, as well as offer more conservation and research opportunities. In addition, visitors will be able to learn how the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ efforts in orchid research is part of its rich heritage which has been sustained to this day. We hope that Sembcorp’s support will inspire more organisations and individuals to play a role in the living legacy of the Gardens.”
Mr Ang Kong Hua, Chairman, Sembcorp Industries said, “As a home-grown company, Sembcorp hopes that our contribution will help to further enhance our country’s natural heritage for everyone to enjoy, and also add value to the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ standing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
“This is just one of several projects we at Sembcorp have been working with NParks, in line with our longstanding commitment to give back to communities where we operate. Past initiatives include the establishment of the Sembcorp Forest of Giants, a living gallery of endangered giant tree species at the Southern Ridges, as well as the Festival of Biodiversity, which promoted environmental education and conservation in our community.”
Community support for the National Orchid Garden
Apart from Sembcorp’s contribution towards The Sembcorp Cool House, global paints and coatings company, AkzoNobel, has also just completed a 5-month effort to refresh Burkill Hall in order to return it to its original identity as an Anglo-Malayan Plantation Style House.
Newly completed orchid theme displays in the interim period
To ensure that visitor experience is not compromised while works are taking place, NParks has curated new orchid-themed displays, namely the Mist Garden, Silver Arches, Orchid Safari, Orchid Checkerboard, and the Enchanted Garden, which features inter-generic hybrids, such as the Vanda Sunlight x Paraphalaenopsis denevei. In addition, visitors will be able to see 30 more warm-growing orchid varieties that were previously not exhibited in the Orchid Garden. These displays will debut at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival, when Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and Work Permit holders can enjoy free entry to the Orchid Garden.
Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival runs from 30 June to 9 July
With activities and programmes spread across the Gardens, highlights of the annual Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival include a carnival with stalls selling plants, games and food, concerts at the Bandstand and Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, as well as tours around the Gardens. Cafes and restaurants in the Gardens will also be rolling out promotional menus and organising live demonstrations in celebration of the Gardens’ rich heritage.