Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay are the biggest cooled greenhouses in the world and a key project in the Singapore Government’s vision of transforming it into a ‘City in a Garden’. More significantly, the Prime Minister spoke of the lessons Singapore could learn from the green technologies employed within the Gardens so that once ‘economics’ allowed they could be implemented more widely within Singapore creating a green and more sustainable city. Behind the hyperbole, the gardens serve as a great educational tool providing learning points about acting and living in a more responsible manner, alongside demonstrating innovative sustainable technologies. As a national and international exemplar of sustainable practice, Gardens by the Bay was named World Building of the Year at the prestigious World Architecture Festival 2012, is a recipient of the 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize and CIBSE International Project of the Year 2014 and MIPIM Best Innovative Green Building 2014. The presenter will discuss the innovative technologies employed by the design team to deliver this award-winning project. He will also discuss the merits of creating such a facility in a sustainable city. As part of a larger design team, Atelier Ten help develop a scheme based on first principles. Holistically integrated solutions were developed to meet the demanding brief to create artificial interior environments enabling Mediterranean and mountain plants to grow in the tropical urban heat of downtown Singapore. The project comprises 52 hectares of landscaped gardens on reclaimed ground. It features a 20,000m2 complex of cooled conservatories and 18 large structures supporting vertical gardens ranging in height from 25m to 50m known as Supertrees. The conservatories and the gardens have been designed to be symbiotic through the interaction of a number of energy and water processes. We have developed innovative strategies for controlling conditions within the two biomes while minimising energy demand to exemplar levels. External supertree structures coupled with liquid desiccant systems provide cool air to the biomes. These structures also incorporate photovoltaics, solar thermal panels and rainwater harvesting. Moreover, waste generated by Singapore’s National Parks will be diverted from landfill and used as a source of biomass to generate energy for use throughout. At present, this horticultural residue waste is land filled and so this installation acts to turn a waste stream into an active energy supply that results in carbon neutral operation.


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  • Received: 22 April 2015
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