Singapore's Gardens by the Bay has become quite the attraction since its opening in 2012, drawing in curious tourists with its solar-powered Supertrees and award-winning conservatories. So when Inhabitat visited the Lion City last year for the Singapore Building and Construction Authority's International Green Building Conference, we knew we couldn't leave without experiencing the gardens for ourselves. Come along on a photo tour of this green marvel, which is just as energy-efficient as it is beautifully designed.
Designed by Grant Associates and Gustafson Porter, Gardens by the Bay is a public park built on 101 hectares of reclaimed land in Singapore. The gardens are located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands hotel. The park consists of three main gardens: the Bay South Garden, the Bay East Garden and the Bay Central Garden. Many of the grounds are accessible for free but the conservatories and other attractions require the purchase of reasonably priced admission tickets.
In addition to offering an urban oasis for Singaporeans and visitors, Gardens by the Bay has a mission to show people how a large-scale botanical garden in one of the world’s hottest climes can operate with sustained energy savings. The Wilkinson Eyre-designed conservatories (which look a bit like glass alien pods) are actually carbon positive thanks to energy-efficient cooling technologies like low-e glass and natural ventilation. The gardens also use waste from plant clippings as biofuel.
The Supertrees, which are the Gardens’ most eye-catching feature, are not just pretty to look at. Reaching up to 164 feet in height, these colorful towers are equipped with photovoltaic panels to soak up solar energy during the day. They are also designed to collect rainwater and have ducts to provide natural ventilation. If you only have time for one activity in the park, we strongly recommend the OCBC Skyway, a 128-meter long, 22-meter high trail that allows you to walk up into one of the Supertrees and enjoy a view of the grove from above. Afterwards, you can even stop by the bistro nestled atop the grove for a quick bite or a long, scenic meal.
Photos ©Yuka Yoneda