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GPW: Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls

on December 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm under Project of the Week: 12/12/11
Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls
2,207 sf. of Greenwalls

Year: 2009
Owner: Far East Organization
Location: Singapore
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Green Façade
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 2,207 sq. ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

Orchard Central Mall is Singapore’s tallest and first vertical pure-retail mall with 11 storeys above ground and two basement levels. Orchard Central boasts multiple outdoor viewing areas with a commanding view of Orchard Road, including three outdoor “green” balconies appealing to alfresco food & beverage outlets. The air-conditioned shopping street discovery walk and the rooftop garden are both accessible to the public 24 hours a day.

The Singapore Institute of Architects and National Parks Board award-winning project features three large living walls and balcony rail on the 11th floor and 2 lower green walls on the 12th floor roof terrace. Elmich Green Wall’s Vertical Greening Modules (VGM) provide the modular system comprising a geotextile bag filled with soil-less lightweight planting media, pre-planted in a nursery environment to allow for plant establishment. The VGMs are encased in metal support frames on-site and mounted onto anchoring pilasters; an automated drip irrigation and fertilization system was also installed. The planted walls complement and create the atmosphere for alfresco dining as well as serve to substantially cool the areas immediately adjacent to the walls.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Developer: Far East Organization
Architect: DP Architects Pte Ltd, Singapore
Landscape Architect: DLQ Design Pte Ltd
Landscape Contract Owner: Nature Landscapes Pte Ltd
Green Roof and Green Wall Specialist: Elmich Pte Ltd
Intensive Greenroof System: Elmich Landscape Roof
Modular Greenwall System: Elmich Green Wall

Additional Info

A city-state of high rise buildings, Singapore is becoming reknown for its  “skyrise greenery” and continuous efforts in making it a “City in a Garden.”

Here, and known throughout Southeast Asia, Orchard Road is the fashion, retail and entertainment hub with shopping centers (more than 40), dining and pubs galore.  Orchard Road got its name from the nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards or the plantations that the road led to in the mid-1800s.  Commercial development of the area began in the twentieth century, with a surge in the 1970s (read more in  Wikipedia).

Located at the heart of Orchard Road, the new high-end Orchard Central Mall  replaced Specialists Shopping Centre and had a soft opening in July, 2009.  The mall boasts 160m frontage along this shopping belt of Singapore.

The  12-floor  Orchard Central Mall features  “˜cluster-concept’ shopping (8 clusters separated by categories) with a wide variety of specialty shops that are not available elsewhere.  Hard to imagine, but the mall is served by a total of 52 escalators (including 6 super escalators) and 12 glass elevators -6  express lifts move between 500 and 2,000 ft/min!  The super escalator at the front of the entrance, left below, enables shoppers to step off from the street and go straight up into the mall:

In the background of the photo above right you can see one of the flourishing greenwalls on the property.  Yet it also showcases a 24-hour public garden at the roof top, complete with tropical landscaping on the ground and various vertical greenery offerings.

In 2009, the  Orchard Central Mall won 1st Prize in the Completed Projects category in the Skyrise Greenery Awards for outdoor green balconies and extensive greenery, inside and out.  The award aims to promote skyrise greenery in Singapore and to recognize the greening efforts in high rise developments by owners/developers, architects, landscape architects/designers, and landscape contract managers.

“As Orchard Road’s first new mall in four years Orchard Central brings a breath of fresh air with urban green verandas, a 140-metre Discovery Walk on the first storey, and the lusciously landscaped sky gardens on the 11th and 12th storeys.

An extensive green wall up to 13 metres high stretches from the 11th to 12th storeys to create a “˜green blanket’ that is highly visible from Orchard Road.

The biological pond on the 12th storey creates the atmosphere of a water garden and offers an unforgettable experience while dining in the sky gardens’ restaurants.” ~  Skyrise Greenery Awards 2009 Completed Projects 1st Prize

Adjacent to the restaurant, this sky garden is both  beautiful and an inviting green space for patrons and visitors, although locals say there are not enough seats for relaxing.

“Amidst this blanketed green roof, art also thrives. At the foot of the vertical wall is Yayoi Kusama’s colourful Let’s Go to a Paradise of Glorious Tulips (2009), adorned with her trademark polka dots.  This sculpture acts as a stark contrast to the grey backdrop of the peaking buildings “” a perspective that creates a heightened awareness of visitors’ location.” ~POSKOD.SG by Amanda Fay Tan

Elmich systems are found throughout the multiple levels – Elmich VGM units on the walls with VersiCell in planter boxes and  Elmich Landscape Roof gor the greenroof system.

For irrigating the walls, an equal amount of water is injected to the root zone via a Netafim drip system and the greenroofs are irrigated using Netafim UniTechline AS.

Along with tons of other spots, I’m sorry we didn’t get to see the Orchard Central Mall greenroof and greenwalls when we visited Singapore in November, 2010 (when I spoke at the International Skyrise Greenery Conference) but it will be on our list the next time we do!

See the Orchard Central Mall Greenroofs project profile in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database here.

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click  here to see more information about this project in  The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.  See how you can submit yours  here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.



3 replies to "GPW: Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls"

  • […] GPW: Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls The air-conditioned shopping street discovery walk and the rooftop garden are both accessible to the public 24 hours a day. The Singapore Institute of Architects and National Parks Board award-winning project features three large living walls and … Read more on (blog) […]

  • Hi, I chanced upon your website while searching for information about Orchard Central (Singapore). I am currently researching on the eco-architecture design of this commercial building for my project and am very interested to know how you were able to obtain images of the layout of the building. I would greatly appreciate your response!

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