Date: 23.10, Monday, 15.30

Place: Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, 5 Bernardyńska St.

Speaker: Karolina Szkapiak

Singapore is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. It has well developed international trade connections, a stable free-market economy and a strong currency – the Singapore dollar. The national economy depends most on the export of electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and technologies. Other important industrial sectors include: finance, banking, biotechnology, electronics, energy, oil refining, textiles, food. The country boasts the busiest port in the world, which has overtaken Hong Kong and Rotterdam. Singapore is a very attractive destination for investors as well as an active investor in foreign countries, mainly China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

However, there is a flip side – the natural environment. Although it is a small country, Singapore has had a very negative environmental footprint. Among the most serious problems are: air pollution, limited access to fresh water, difficulty with waste management, smoke from fires in Indonesia, acid rains destroying entire ecosystems, killing fish by floating nets. All these maladies result from extremely quick economic development in a very small area.

This is why the government of Singapore has decided to fight for nature and construct a huge ecosystem in the city centre. Gardens by the Bay is a futurist complex covering 101 ha near the Marina Bay. Designed by an international team of best architects, engineers and gardeners (from 24 countries), it looks as if it belonged in the distant future. Who could guess that a reinforced concrete construction, with a height of 25 to 50 metres, hides the most beautiful green areas in the city? Eighteen such structures, whose shape resembles gigantic trees, are situated at the heart of Singapore. These vertical gardens are home to almost 200 thousand exotic plants from all over the world. Solar cells enable the “trees” to generate clean energy used to light nearby areas. Rainwater is captured to irrigate the flora or used in fountains. After sundown, their twinkling lights and changing colours create a unique aesthetic spectacle. Known as Supertree Grove, it is an element of the Singaporean government’s ambitious plan of turning the city-state into a city in garden. The area is freely accessible to inhabitants and tourists, who can relax in the quiet parks, walk through the alleys or charming bridges, and in the evening participate in impressive light and sound spectacles.

The project is unique due to the grand scale of actions that are intended to improve the residents’ quality of life, but also because of the diverse functions of the garden, which is simultaneously an area of relaxation, education and entertainment.

The project was selected in the competition Open Call DoFA ’17.