Grant Associates wins two Design For Asia Awards 2012
UK landscape architects honoured for design of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay.
Hong Kong Design Centre's "Design for Asia Award 2012" has recognised Gardens by the Bay, masterplanned by UK-landscape architects Grant Associates, with a Grand Award and Special Award for Technology. The Awards were presented to Andrew Grant, Grant Associates at the DFA Awards ceremony at the Hong Kong Design Center on Thursday 6 December 2012 during the Business of Design Week.
UK landscape architecture firm Grant Associates has won two top Asian design awards for masterplanning the design of Gardens by the Bay, the 54 hectare leisure attraction in Singapore.
The practice, which has offices in Bath UK and Singapore, has been awarded the Grand Award and the Special Award for Technology in the Design for Asia Awards 2012, organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre.
The Awards were presented to Andrew Grant, director of Grant Associates, at the Hong Kong Design Centre on Thursday 6 December 2012 during the annual Business of Design Week.
Funded by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the DFA Awards are presented to companies and designers from around the world that have achieved business success through good design that reflects, or has an impact on, the Asian lifestyle. This year over 100 entries from around the world were nominated.
Andrew Grant, director of Grant Associates, said: "We're delighted to see Gardens by the Bay receiving recognition and appreciation for design excellence in Asia with these two prestigious awards. Asia embraces design innovation, sustainability and human imagination which makes it both an exciting and enjoyable area to work in."
Dr. Victor Lo, Chairman of HKDC and Chairman of the DFA Grand Award judging panel said: "The DFA Award is a preeminent award programme in Asia, attracting the world's best design talents. As well as recognising Asian design excellence, the award aims to encourage the exchange of ideas on utilising design to create unique business opportunities, and adding value to business."
Grant Associates has also been shortlisted for the International Prize Project of the Year category at the Sustain Magazine Awards 2013 for Gardens by the Bay. Winners to be announced 3 March 2013.
In October, the Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay were named World Building of the Year in the World Architecture Festival Awards.
Grant Associates is delighted to see Gardens by the Bay receiving recognition and appreciation for design excellence in Asia with two DFA Awards. Asia embraces design innovation, sustainability and human imagination which makes it both an exciting and enjoyable area to work in.
— Andrew Grant, director, Grant Associates
The DFA Award is a preeminent award programme in Asia, attracting the world's best design talents, and we are proud that Create Hong Kong has been very supportive towards this award. As well as recognising Asian design excellence, the award aims to encourage the exchange of ideas on utilising design to create unique business opportunities, and adding value to business. Likewise, we have a team of dedicated researchers continuously looking for outstanding design projects around the world, to share with industry practitioners and friends of HKDC. Located at Asia's leading creative hub, we will continue to facilitate mutual exchanges among practitioners, and assist in promoting design excellence and the sustainable development of the industry.
— Dr. Victor Lo, Chairman of HKDC and Chairman of the DFA Grand Award judging panel
Gardens by the bay” is the latest addition to ever-evolving the city state Singapore’s cityscape comprises three distinctive waterfront gardens with Bay South, the first and largest of the 3 Gardens, at 54 hectares opened to the public on 29th June. Bay South includes two colossal glass enclosed glasshouses as well as a cluster of 18 distinctively shaped structures of various sizes called “SuperTrees” that immediately became new icons in Singapore.
This is the fruition of Singapore’s vision for creating “Gardens City” or rather, “ City in a Garden” , National Parks Board launched an international design competition for the design of the Masterplan in January 2006 to invite top talents from around the world to participate in the creation of the most distinctive gardens in the tropical belt. Grant associates and Gustafson Porter were awarded the Masterplan design for the Bay South and Bay East Gardens respectively.
Once the local consultants for the Bay South were on board, the client also invited few international lighting consultants including ourselves to bid for the lighting design of the garden, and we were awarded to work on the project. As it is a new form of outdoor entertainment and leisure, and we sought to underline the concept “entertainment with organic lighting”.
We thought entertaining the public with organic and eco-friendly lighting will be a crucial element of future lighting design. Even today, the excessive consumption of energy in the service of entertainment is no longer considered viable; a more friendly approach is essential from both a consumer and environmental perspective.
For this reason, while the lighting at Gardens by the bay should entertain visitors – it must be done with “organic light” in playful harmony with the garden’s greenery, water, and other natural scenery. With this in mind, we came up with the four main concepts:
- Favors lighting that dramatizes shadow and eschews excessive lighting;
- Gently engages garden visitors with interactive light;
- Harmonizes light with the garden’s greenery, water, and wind;
- Creates an environment that helps visitors feel the spirit of the living forest.
Such a light environment requires sustainable lighting fixtures as well as sensors and light modulation and programming technology capable of subtle changes in color and intensity. By faithfully applying these criteria to our design we sought to create an environment in which garden visitors feel the living vitality of nature around them.
Light fixtures that are fundamentally for nighttime must not interfere with the landscape during the day. Light fixtures need to be concealed and integrated within the architecture and the landscape as much as possible. The light, itself, should be used to emphasize the concept and uniqueness of the landscape design.
This is an A0-size sketch produced in the concept stage that illustrates an overall lighting image for Gardens by the Bay. Although each area has its own characteristics and style, they are all connected by common underlying concepts, principles, and lighting elements, thus forming a coherent vision on the whole and creating a highly sophisticated and exciting nightscape. As LPA examined the overall lighting image of Gardens by the Bay, the guidelines for the masterplan were analyzed individually.
This is a hand sketched section drawing to study site-wide lighting strategies. Focal points and hierarchy of lighting intensity through the gardens were examined.
Section 2: Cooled Conservatories: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest
To house temperate and tropical plants in especially created temperature and humidity conditions, these giant biomes glow with a soft light from within. This soft light is due to the lighting up of the flower fields and the misty mountain in the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest respectively. Soft shades of color, with varying levels of transparency are also experienced when visitors enter the huge singular spaces.
For the exteriors, a soft grazing light along the ribs of the conservatory facades highlights the profile of the structures. The light is brighter towards the North side along the Marathon route, and is a gentle wash on the South side to avoid competing with the Main Garden lighting experience.
The large biome at 1.2 hectares (approximately 2.2 football fields) is 38m in height. The glass dome is designed to suit the large field of the plants from Mediterranean region, a variety of planting from South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. At flower field, the lighting as been used to create thrilling forms of night entertainment and interactive with the wandering visitors.
The light that guide us to discover the exotic plants from central Chile, on the west coast of South American Garden. The comfortable nighttime environment creates a beautiful contrast and rhythmical nightscape.
The dialogue of light and shadow emphasize on Baobabs and Bottle trees, the gigantic trees from continental Africa and Madagascar. The connection of light and natural element creates an exciting landscape when the night falls.
The other biome – the smaller but taller Cloud forest – is 0.8 hectares (approximately 1.5 football fields) and 58m high. The cool moist conservatory simulates the climate of tropical highlands, covered with the plants from Tropical Montane regions between 1,000 and 3,500 meters above sea level, up to latitudes of 26 degrees north and south of the Equator.
The light that reveals the power of water (35m tall man-made mountain with waterfall) will treat visitor as a first glance.
From the lower walkway, the field of vision open up to a mountain which are planted with a mixture of fern and colorful plants, lighting is gently illuminate the fresh green and flower and the same time create the natural combination of light and shadow.
Further into the conservatory interiors, the Interpretative Media spaces are dark spaces with lighting focused on the media display about the gardens. Lighting is interactive and focused on the multimedia experience.
Lighting in the foreground illuminates the handrail along the walkway. The soft level of light and mist gradually washes and reveals the mountain in the distance.
Section 3: Supertrees
Designed by Grant Associates the Supertrees are unique vertical gardens ranging from 25 to 50 metres in height (equivalent to 9 to 16 storeys), with emphasis placed on the vertical display of tropical flowering climbers, epiphytes and ferns. In the day the Supertrees’ large canopies provide shade and shelter. At night, the Supertrees come alive with lighting created by LPA.
In the middle of this tropical forest, stands a grove of peculiarly tall Supertrees. The massive scale of these trees creates a canopy over the forest floor below, as they appear to be the only existence of life around. We can sense something surreal in the air, like the spirit of the forest is thriving within these trees. As if they have a will of their own and are trying to communicate a message to us. Their simple message, we are all part of the same earth, living organisms living together is a profound realization. They continue to stand tall, for an eternity, watching human activity and the history of life, as a silent protector of the future of this planet. Six different lighting elements have been blended and programmed to create a story using sound and light.
There are a total of 18 Supertrees. Out of the 18 Supertrees, 12 are situated in the Supertree Grove while the remaining 6 are placed in clusters of threes near the Arrival Square and Dragonfly Lake. All the lighting fixtures on 18 Supertrees are controlled through a centralized intelligent control system that makes it possible to create dynamic lighting scenes. The vertical planting displays are effectively lit up with metal halide projector with 250W lamp located around the base of each Supertree. The coloured lighting of the membrane above the vertical planting is programmed to keep changing slowly and mysteriously and show different colour schemes over the course of a night.
Section 4: Main Gardens
Apart from the large architectural structures, the rest of the gardens are also full of special lighting installations. A variety of lighting techniques are featured to reinforce the landscaping character of each of the 10 Themed Gardens and other areas.
The pathway connecting Themed Gardens through The World of Plants where the tallest trees are planted to create a forest-like feeling, spotlights mounted on 10m pole hidden within the trees project light through the tree branches. These paths do not need fixtures or any ornate lighting effects, just simple glimpse of what might be moonlight in between overgrown thickets.
In Fruits and Flowers garden, inground linear light washes the large interpretive walls that enclose the garden.
Characteristic design of the landscape elements such as canopies, benches and handrails created by the landscape architect is reinforced by the lighting that is fully integrated in the landscape elements.
Pathways are generally lit with low height bollard lights which are specially designed for the project. The design languages are derived from the landscape elements such the aerial root structure and characteristic graphical patterns. A curved bollard that equipped with 4.8W LED lamp provides lighting for steps. The lantern with the iconic graphic is designed to project shadow pattern onto the path.
Gardens by the Bayrelieson “green” PENETRON waterproofingsolutions
Expected to become a majoroutdoorrecreation destination in Singapore, GardensbytheBayare also an achievementin sustainable engineering and energyefficiency. Non-toxic PENETRON technology is part of the “green” solution used in the concrete foundations.
Spread over 101hectares(250 acres) and built entirelyonreclaimed land, theGardensby the Bay area showcaseandedutainmentcenterof horticultureand garden artistrywithplantsand treesfromallovertheworld. Some of the highlights include:
• Flower Dome conservatory – 45m tall and 1.2 hectare (3-acres) large, this conservatory features plantsfromthe cool-dryMediterranean climate and flowers from Australia,Africa and South America
• Cloud Forest – 0.8 hectare (2-acres) large, this conservatory mimics a cool,moisttropicalmountainclimatewith morethan 130,000plants,including a “cloudmountain”
• DragonflyLake – a lakesystemthatcapturesrun-off fromthegardensand usesaquaticplantsasanatural eco-filter tocleansethewater
• Supertrees– 25-50m high vertical gardens are one of the most visible centerpieces and are coveredbyover 162,900 plantsincluding orchids,fernsand tropical flowering climbers
Sustainable construction and environmentalcompatibility were the essential design aspects for the Garden’s architects (Wilkinson Eyre Architectsand CPG Consultants). These included state-of- the-artsustainableenergyand waterusagesolutions,and green elementssuch asabio-waste co-generationsystem,liquid desiccantsystem,automaticshading systems,photovoltaicpanels, green roofs,rainwater harvesting and natural water filtration.
Exposed to seawater from the Singapore Straits and freshwater from the Marina Barrage reservoir, the concreteusedin GardensbytheBayneeded to be completely protected againstchloride ion ingress and high hydrostaticpressures,which areamong the maincausesofconcrete deteriorationof sea structures.
PENETRON ADMIX was dosed into the fresh concrete during batching to ensuretotal protectionagainstdeterioration from waterand water-borne chemicals (suchassulfates, chlorides,acids,etc.)andother corrosiveagents that permeate concrete through micro-cracks,voidsand capillaries. This batching allowedthe contractor (WohHup) asignificanttimereduction in theproject schedule, another reason whyPENETRON was chosen for this application.
“PENETRON ADMIX is non-toxic without anyharmful ingredientsand isa certified Singapore Green Labelproduct,” explains Jozef Van Beeck, Director, International Sales & Marketing of PENETRON International. “Thiscertification wasa keyrequirement forGardensbytheBay.”
The civil and structural engineers(Atelier One and MeinhardtInfrastructure)designatedPENETRON ADMIX for theconcretesubstructure(slabs and walls)of theFlowerDomeand Cloud Forestconservatoriesdueto their location in hydrostatic conditions.A totalof18,300m3of concreteweretreatedwith PENETRON ADMIX to provide a protected and durableconcretefoundation for Singapore’snewlandmarks.
Theproject’s construction jointswere treatedwithPENEBAR SW-55 swellable-typewaterstops.Once embedded in the concrete, PENEBAR SW expands uponcontactwith water and sealingtheconstruction joint from within, sealing iteffectivelyagainstallwateringress.
PENESEAL PRO was used as a concretesealerfor the above-gradestructures; on5,000m2 ofconcretesurfaceoftheCloudMountain wall and on1,875m2 of concretesurface ofthe“Supertrees,”topreventwater penetration and deterioration.
“To support the client’s environmental priorities for Gardens by the Bay, PENETRON offered an environmentally friendly solution to waterproof the concrete foundations,” adds Robert Revera, CEO of PENETRON International. “The easeof applicationand enhanceddurabilityoftheconcrete will preserveSingapore’snewgarden masterpieceformanyyearstocome.”
Garden by the Bay in Singapore is a park spanning 101 hectares. It consists of three gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. The gardens are an integral part of a strategy to transform Singapore and raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. Bay South Garden is the largest of the three gardens at 54 hectares and aims to showcase the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry. IJreka playgrounds, a Dutch manufacturer of playground equipment, has provided unique large treehouses. They offer adventure for children with hanging bridges, balancing beams and many more. The treehouses are assembled in the Netherlands for safety checks before being shipped to Singapore. This attraction was opened on 21 January 2014 with trees up to 9 meters high.
Our work, which secured the winning bid for Gardens by the Bay depicts luscious and spectacular design proposals; groves of Supertrees, wet and dry Biodomes, elevated walkways, tiger sculptures, a dragon bridge and jellyfish refuges.
Collaboration was key to the production of the competition entry, we helped Grant Associates to really flesh out and develop ideas like the huge artificial trees which have now become a signature part of the project. The animation demonstrated that a filmed competition entry is very powerful in helping to tell the story so that the judges, many of whom may not be architects, can understand and appreciate the ideas.
The project was completed in 2013, with the reality of the design incredibly close to the ambition of the competition vision.