Singapore | 2006-2009
Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s designs for Bay East form an integral part of the strategic development plan within the City to promote Singapore as a ‘City within a Garden’ and reinforce the view that the greening of the city is one of its greatest assets. Won in international competition in 2006, the 33-hectare park offers dramatic views of Singapore’s skyline as well as supporting a range of water-sport and cultural facilities.
Previously an estuary, Marina Bay has been turned into a reservoir by a recently completed barrage. It will in time turn the brackish water into a sweet water reservoir which will supply Singapore with drinking water. Our design fully supports this strategic development, by cleansing bay water in reed beds before returning it to the bay.
The beauty of the tropical leaf provides the inspiration for the garden. Singapore’s heat and humidity combine to create a challenging environment. In line with government policy to encourage active lifestyles, a series of environmental strategies combine to improve microclimatic conditions and draw people into the park. New water inlets are created along the existing shore line. They are orientated to draw prevailing winds into the site for cooling breezes. The tropical leaf landforms are clustered around these inlets. Restaurants, cafes and lifestyle centres are tucked into the leaf forms, maximizing green space. The visitor facilities front the water inlets. Arching water jets, sculpted rilles, dramatic waterfalls and wave pools animate the inlets and create a cooling focal point. Each leaf has its’ own theme. An Aquatic Terrace reinterprets the traditional rice paddies (Leaf 7). The Fragrant Night Garden embodies sights, smells and sensuality (Leaf 8). The romantic valley creates an atmospheric backdrop for a stroll in the dappled shade of tall trees, with mist (from misting features) rising among tree ferns. Three north-south paths intersect the gardens, with shade canopies provided at regular intervals. A new stepped shore line is created to bring people closer to the water body. Cycle paths are inserted to encourage sport and movement.