I was in Singapore earlier in May for a trip by Marina Bay Sands and was privileged to visit the Harry Potter Exhibition on the very first day of its opening followed by a behind the scenes tour of Gardens by the Bay.
Amazing isn’t it?
Here’s a look of it when it was still “in the works “.
Can you imagine how it looked now?
I definitely need to make a trip to Sg again to see the completed Gardens by the Bay with my own eyes!
I didn’t take much pictures as I was busy taking a video so do watch it. Obviously since I’m in Taiwan now and Gardens by the Bay has just opened 2 days back I haven’t seen the transformation as yet. I’m not sure when will I be heading to Gardens by the Bay again, but I’m sure going to be in Sg this mid-month for an event! 🙂
Here are some details about Gardens on the Bay:
The Gardens by the Bay (GB) is a project by the National Parks Board (NParks). The concept of Gardens by the Bay evolves with Singapore’s paradigm shift as it develops from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden” in a global city. Enhanced greenery and flora, together with a much more holistic and all-encompassing programme aims to raise the quality of life in Singapore.
About Gardens by the Bay.
The Gardens by the Bay occupies 101 hectares of prime land by the water and is part of Marina Bay. Thus during our visit, we were able to walk through the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands; via our hotel (but not DIRECTLY due to security reasons) to the entrance of Gardens by the Bay.
The link bridge.
A quick picture to show I was there! 😛
Oh we can see the Supertrees now!
Some said they are ugly, some said they are technology marvels. Hate it or love it, the Supertrees are here to stay so you might as well learn a thing or 2 about it. 🙂
Designed as tree-like structures between 25 metres and 50 metres in height (9 to 16 storeys), the 18 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. The top of the middle one will house a F & B outlet.
- A 128-metre-long aerial walkway (see that circular walkway below? ) will connect the two 42-metre Supertrees in the Supertree Grove and enable visitors to take in a different view of the Gardens from a height of 22 metres.
- · The 50-metre Supertree will have a treetop bistro (the big Supertree right in the middle with a round “building” at the top) that will offer a panoramic view of the Gardens and surrounding Marina Bay area, while F&B outlets located in the Supertree Grove will offer a casual dining experience for visitors.
The Supertrees will also be embedded with sustainable energy and water technologies that are integral to the cooling of the Conservatory.
The Supertree comprises 4 major parts:
- · Reinforcement concrete core – Inner vertical structure that upholds the Supertree;
- · Trunk – A steel frame that will be attached around the reinforcement concrete core;
- · Planting panels – Installed on the trunk in preparation for the planting of the living skin;
- · Canopy – Shaped like an inverted umbrella, the canopy will be assembled and hoisted via a hydraulic jack system (with the exception of the 50m Supertree canopy which will be assembled at its final height).
So basically, a Supertree is a man-made tree!
Now here’s the interesting part – the Environmentally Sustainable Functions:
- · 11 Supertrees will have canopies embedded with environmentally sustainable functions.
- · Some will have photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy for lighting up the Supertrees. Some will be integrated with the cooled conservatories and serve as air exhaust receptacles.
So what sort of plants are being planted on the supertrees you may ask?
- · Over 162,900 plants comprising more than 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical flowering climbers will be planted on the 18 Supertrees.
- · Examples include the Tillandsia stricta from Brazil, Tillandsia fasciculate from Panama, Cattleya maxima from Ecuador, and Pseudorhipsalis from Costa Rica.
- · The plants are chosen based on the following considerations:
– Suitable for vertical planting
– Lightweight and hardy
– Easy to maintain
– Suitable for Singapore’s climate
– Not commonly found in Singapore
– Visually interesting
- · The Supertrees will have different planting schemes in various colours ranging from warm tones like reds, browns, orange and yellows, to cooler hues like silver and pink.
So what do you think of the Supertrees now? Not quite as bad as you thought right? There’s substantial research and planning to constructing them and they do serve quite a number of functions.
Next I’m going to move on Horticultural Themed Gardens.
Gardens by the Bay comprised of three distinctive waterfront gardens – Bay South, Bay East, and Bay Central.
Bay South is the largest garden and it stands at 54 hectares. It will be located next to the Marina Bay integrated resort & 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.
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’.
Here’s the video of the area:
From the video, you will the 4 gardens that makes up the 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.
Next, you will pass “The World of Plants“:
The 2nd 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 evolution. 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 looks at plant evolution throughout the lifespan of the planet, and focuses on selected ancient groups of plants. By providing visitors with a glimpse of the long time it took for the plant diversity we see today to evolve, it also draws a comparison with the accelerated rate of extinction caused by man.
– Web of Life. This node focuses on the interrelationship of rainforest flora with fauna. The main subject will 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.
All are very educational isn’t it? 🙂
I suspect there will be a lot of universities, school and learning tours here at The Gardens on The Bay in the near future.
The other attraction here includes the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The Cloud Forest wasn’t accessible that time during our exclusive tour but I went into the Flower Dome. After the Floriade in The Netherlands, this wasn’t much of a “wow” factor to me but admittedly, the Flower Dome is still impressive in its entirety; both technologically and aesthetically-wise.
Different sections within the dome houses species of flora from different continents thus within the dome, different climates are being being “created” simultaneously.
When I was there not all were ready so it did looked a bit bleak but like I said before, this was just a sneak preview.
I thought this was queer. :DD
Let me update you later on the Dragonfly Lake and the event space! 🙂
Here are some details on getting there:
- By MRT: Bayfront station
- By bus: SBS 400
- Parking facilities are available.
- Bay South Garden is linked to the Marina Bay Sands by the Garden Bay Bridge.
Any burning questions? Leave me a comment! 🙂
Below: The majestic Marina Bay Sands Towers where I stayed during my trip.