RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2013
World Building of the Year WAF Awards 2012
Best Innovative Green Building, MIPIM Awards 2014
Special Jury Award MIPIM Awards 2014
WilkinsonEyre were the architects in a team that won the design competition for one of the most ambitious cultural projects of recent years – the masterplan for Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. The project, comprising three separate gardens covering a total of 101 hectares, was central to the government’s visionary plan to transform the city-state into a city-in-a-garden. WilkinsonEyre’s brief was to design an architectural icon, a horticultural attraction and a showcase for sustainable technology at the heart of the Bay South Garden.
Our response was the Cooled Conservatory Complex. The two main structures are among the largest climate-controlled glasshouses in the world, covering an area of more than 20,000m². These domes showcase the flora of those environments most likely to be affected by climate change: in the Flower Dome, a cool-dry Mediterranean Zone; and in the Cloud Forest, a cool-wet tropical montane.
The challenge of creating these environments under glass was a fundamental driver of the design, which was realised through a uniquely collaborative relationship between WilkinsonEyre and the other members of the multidisciplinary team: masterplanner Grant Associates, structural engineer Atelier One and environmental specialists Atelier Ten.
Each conservatory has a composite structure composed of a gridshell, which works in tandem with an external superstructure of radially arranged, arched steel ribs. Use of bio-mass for the building services makes the structures, which cover two hectares, carbon positive in operation.
These were introduced primarily to address the lateral loads to the gridshell, although they also give the conservatories their distinctive organic identity. In a city state famous for its bold architecture, the cooled conservatories at Gardens by the Bay form a new landmark for Singapore and make the gardens one of its largest visitor attractions. Completed in 2012, the Cooled Conservatories were named World Building of the Year and in 2013 the project received the prestigious RIBA Lubetkin Prize.