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Watch the 2:35 Gardens by the Bay Far East Organization Children’s Garden – Project of the Week 2/22/16 video from on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube ( Project of the Week video photo credits: All courtesy of Elmich Pte Ltd, Grant Associates, and Linda S. Velazquez except for Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore by Allie Caulfield Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic from Wikimedia Commons). 2:09 video Play time @ Gardens by the Bay | Grant Associates from Grant Associates on vimeo.

Although he doesn’t talk about the Far East Organization Children’s Garden (yet to come), watch the 42:57 video VS2011#29 – Closing Keynote Address by Andrew Grant from the inaugural 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit about the planning and design of the almost then finished Gardens by the Bay in 2012. Landscape Architect Andrew Grant’s presentation shows the scope, content, and progress of this spectacular 101-hectare project with particular reference to the innovative use of vertical planting and ecological management systems.


June 30, 2022 Gardens by the Bay marks first 10 years; lead designer campaigns for more nature and biodiversity within cities by Grant Associates; Project of the Week for February 22, 2016: Gardens by the Bay Far East Organization Children’s Garden by Linda Velazquez on; January 24, 2014 Far East Organization Children’s Garden Opens at Gardens by the Bay Press Release from Grant Associates.

Gardens by the Bay brings to life the National Parks Board Singapore’s vision of creating a City in a Garden. The 101-hectare Gardens capture the essence of Singapore as the premier tropical Garden City with the perfect environment in which to live and work – making Singapore a leading global city of the 21st century. The project has been acclaimed worldwide for its remarkable blend of nature, technology, environmental management and imagination and is a showcase of horticulture and garden artistry that brings the world of plants to Singapore and presents Singapore to the World.

“First conceived by Dr Kiat W. Tan, botanist and former chief executive of Gardens by the Bay, the idea of constructing a world-class garden in the tropics, on reclaimed land, south of Singapore’s financial centre, seemed completely outrageous at the time.

It is hard to imagine that this horticultural destination was once sea, then sand and soggy soil. Yet, in a relatively short five years up to its official opening in 2012, an inter-disciplinary team of international and local architects, engineers, and landscape specialists successfully transformed a barren site bereft of roads, drains and electricity into a lush green space where over 1 million plants reside. Plants, trees and flowers from every continent, except for Antarctica, can be found in the Gardens.” ~ BBC

Consisting of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central Garden, Bay South Garden is the largest at 54 hectares or 130 acres. Designed by Grant Associates as masterplanners of the multi award-winning Bay South Garden, the masterplan’s overall concept draws inspiration from an orchid, the Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ (Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim), which is the national flower of Singapore. The orchid takes root at the waterfront (conservatories), while the leaves (landforms), shoots (paths, roads and linkways) and secondary roots (water, energy and communication lines) then form an integrated network with blooms (theme gardens and Supertrees) at key intersections.

Underlying the concept of Gardens by the Bay are the principles of environmental sustainability. Much effort was made to plan and design for sustainable cycles in energy and water throughout Bay South Garden. Gardens by the Bay broke ground in November 2007 and was opened to the public in June, 2012.

Highlights of Bay South Garden include 18 Supertrees of different sizes ranging from 25-50 metre (82 to 164 feet) vertical gardens that light up at night; two giant Cooled Conservatories (designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects), housing Mediterranean and Tropical climate plants; and a rich variety of Horticultural Gardens, designed around the themes ‘Plants and People’ and ‘Plants and Planet.’

Bay Far East Organization Children’s Garden

The Gardens by the Bay Far East Organization Children’s Garden was also designed by Grant Associates. A major new feature of the 54 hectare Bay South Garden is the Far East Organization Children’s Garden. The one-hectare mix of play area offers experiences for all ages, including water play, rainforest tree houses, ridge top trails and topiary pergola arches all in a special garden setting overlooking the Marina Reservoir.

Completed in 2015, the Children’s Garden sits along the waterfront of Bay South Garden. Gardens by the Bay invites people to “Explore the sights and sounds of nature’s playground” and enjoy a fun-filled family day with interactive play delights, water play features and educational programs in a lush natural setting at the Far East Organization Children’s Garden. The Toddler Play Zone at the Water Play is designed for 1 to 5-year olds and offers play equipment such as a sway bridge and stepping springs, and the Fish Fountain with an interactive landscape of water tunnels and fish sculptures. It’s perfect for toddlers to clamber and play around, and parents are invited to bring along their kids’ swimwear.

In addition to the Water Play Experience, the other sites to see at the Children’s Garden include The Treehouses where two structures are set within a thicket of rainforest trees; the Adventure Trail which follows a ridge of elevated ground that overlooks the Kingfisher Lake to the south and the Marina Reservoir to the north; and the Shade and an Outdoor Amphitheatre where a leaf-shaped canopy structure provides shelter from the rain and hot sun reaching over an outdoor amphitheatre formed by stepped granolithic finish concrete benches.

Lush greenery which spans across the Garden’s roofs is enabled by the Elmich Lightweight Green Roof System. This system incorporates a revolutionary new medium, EnviroMix® PB, which cuts out the need for traditional loose soil media. Taken as a whole, the system represents a step forward in green roof design and a natural choice for architects and builders.

Light in Weight, Not in Substance: The Elmich Ultra-lightweight Green Roof System allows architects to incorporate greenery into their designs and conform to roof loading weight normally associated with lightweight green roofs. This means that a simpler structure can be employed during construction, resulting in cost savings. In the Children’s Garden, EnviroMix® PB is combined with a regular soil layer on top to form an ultra-lightweight growing media for plants. For turfing applications, EnviroMix® PB can even be used as a standalone growing media because of the vital nutrients incorporated into the material, resulting in even greater weight savings. Combined, the Elmich Ultra-lightweight Green Roof System can amount to twice the weight reduction compared to other systems on the market. Elmich is committed to the cause of reducing weight and instead delivering in pure, useable substance.

The EnviroMix® PB (ultra-lightweight planting board) also has a high water absorbency and retention capability, reducing the need for frequent irrigation. This removes the need for a complicated retention system and further enhances the system’s ability to reduce water consumption and cost for the end user.

Reduce Construction Time, Increase Quality: The Elmich system represents a step forward in modular green roof design. There is no need to affix the planting boards in any way and loose media for in-situ planting is reduced by half. For turf planting, the extra logistics of providing for loose media is totally removed. Every component involved in the Elmich system is completely modular – either positioned easily in rows abutting one another or layered effortlessly on top. This results in a shorter installation time and almost no mess created whilst doing so.

Elmich is extremely committed to the sustainable greening of urban spaces through building products that fit into existing construction and design methodologies. They are honoured to have had a role to play in the development of the world-class Gardens by the Bay and helping to provide a green legacy for future generations to enjoy.

“The Far East Organization Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay creates play opportunities that are not found elsewhere in Singapore that connect children to nature via technology, art and horticulture.” ~ Andrew Grant, director, Grant Associates

Words cannot express how pleased we are to offer children a special play area in Gardens by the Bay. This Children’s Garden is made possible by the strong support of Far East Organization, and cements our commitment to creating a People’s Garden with a green legacy for our future generations.” ~ Dr. Kiat W. Tan, CEO, Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay has won numerous awards, including the International Garden Tourism Award 2016 and the BCA Green Mark for Parks Platinum Award (New Parks) from the Singapore Building & Construction Authority in 2013. See all of their many awards on their About the Gardens page.

See the Project Profiles for the Gardens by the Bay, Supertrees and the Gardens by the Bay, Cloud Forest Conservatory’s Cloud Mountain in the Projects Database.


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