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Gardens By The Bay Competition

SINGAPORE

AHBE was invited to participate in an international design competition for three new parks in the heart of downtown Singapore. The firm’s design imagined three new experiences for Singapore: an island, a sanctuary, and a playground. As an urban place for living, working and playing, the concept of the “island” presents a new and unique ecology for the downtown area. Floating island bumps were placed strategically so that users can enjoy the views of Singapore’s skyline, creating a temporary respite from urban life.  Our design also proposed places of sanctuary.  As they meander along a trail, visitors would come upon gardens of native tropical ecology and engage with birds and other wildlife within the sanctuaries.  Gardens by the Bay also poses as natural playgrounds for families and adults alike. “Playgrounds” are places where Singapore’s residents can socially interact among themselves in a community-based space. Ground undulations designed into the park would become a series community swimming holes and water fountains filled with freshwater, saltwater, wave pool and rainbow mists.     

AHBE named its project submission "bump" as a metaphor for the complex dynamics of Singapore as a City existing within a Garden.  Our concept was derived by the intersection (or bumping) of the city grid, which represents man’s influence, and the city’s prevailing wind patterns, which represent nature’s force.  The convergence of city and nature resulted in a series of topographical “bumps and bowls” which defined the site’s physical form.  The bumps and bowls refer to the existing cut-and-fill process already used to create a significant part of Singapore’s landscape. This narrative of reclamation is also particularly relevant for the Gardens by the Bay, which is located on reclaimed land.  In addition to the landscape design, AHBE also proposed an architectural form, called the “Manifold.”  The Manifold is an intelligent, dynamic, breathing, ecologically sustainable architecture that is integrated into the landscape to provide unexpected perspectives for visitors.