Gardens by the Bay is a unique nature park in Singapore and the largest architectural landscape project in the world. The total area of the park is more than 100 hectares.
History of Gardens by the Bay
In 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong got an idea to create a large park near the bay. This park was designed as a place for rest, as well as a calling card of Singapore. In January 2006, the international competition for the best project for gardens by the bay was announced, in which 170 companies from 25 countries took part. In September of the same year, the jury announced the winners: Grant Associates for the Bay South Garden and Gustafson Porter for the Bay East Garden. A decision to create a central garden was made later.
Construction of the gardens had begun in 2007, and the grand opening of Gardens by the Bay was held in four years – in October 2011. The Bay East Garden was used for pulling races at the Youth Olympic Games in August 2010, and it was opened before the rest of the gardens.
1035 million dollars were allocated for the realization of this architectural landscape project, while the annual operating costs make more than 50 million dollars.
Today the park “Gardens by the Bay” is very popular, 6-9 million people visit it every year. The park was awarded various prizes including “World Building of the Year” in 2012.
Parts of Gardens by the Bay
The Park “Gardens by the Bay” consists of three waterfront gardens adjoining to the Marina Reservoir: Bay South Garden, East Bay Garden, and Bay Central Garden.
Bay East and Bay Central Gardens
Bay East Garden with the area of 32 hectares is the second largest bay and it has a great potential for future development. Currently, the territory of the Eastern garden is occupied with several beautiful tropical gardens.
Bay Central Garden with the area of 15 hectares is the smallest garden in the bay. The central garden with its 3-kilometer seafront is an ideal place for scenic walks.
Bay South Garden
Bay South Garden demonstrates the best innovations of landscape design, and it is the national pride of the country. The overall concept of this project draws inspiration from the Vanda “Miss Joaquim” orchid, the national flower of Singapore. On the territory of Bay South Garden with an area of 54 hectares, there are the greenhouses, the Supertree Grove, the Children’s Garden, and the art sculptures.
Greenhouses: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest
Along the bay, there are two innovative glasshouses, which are considered the biggest in the world. The huge glass roofs without any additional inner supports are the main peculiarity of these greenhouses.
The Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse throughout the globe according to Guinness World Records 2015. On the territory, you can see the plants of different regions; there are thematic gardens, groves, and fields where various exhibitions are held from time to time. For a better navigation around the Flower Dome, the visitors can use the application Plant Explorer.
The Cloud Forest has a smaller territory but this greenhouse is a little higher than the Flower Dome. The central place in this glasshouse is occupied by the “Cloud Mountain”, the 42-meters construction, the top of which can be reached on the elevator. To go down the mountain, one should use a circular track.
It is open every day from 5 am to 2 am, entrance is free.
Supertrees are the constructions of 25-50 meters in height, which remind real trees by their shape. They are designed with large sheds that provide shade in the daytime and revive with the impressive light and sound at night. Some of the trees have the photovoltaic devices for transformation the solar energy into electrical. Every construction has plants fit for a vertical planting.
OCBC SKYWAY is a long air path with 128 meters length. At the altitude of 22 meters, you can observe the amazing views of the Marina Bay’s gardens and bays from the track.
OCBC SKYWAY is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm. Ticket prices: an adult ticket is $8 and a children ticket is $5.
The Children’s Garden is a fascinating amusement park for children under 12 years old. Here every little visitor of the complex will find a lot of entertainments:
A house on the tree
An adventure path
The interactive games
Various educational programs
The water rides
The 10-million dollars cost Children’s Garden was open in 2014.
More than 40 sculptures from around the world have been installed in Gardens by the Bay, which completes the overall concept of the project. Here you can see a 7-meter flower clock, a landed eagle made from lychee roots, a bronze bull sculpture, a huge snail, giant dragonfly sculpture and other art objects. The bronze sculpture of a child, 9 meters long and 3 meters high, deserves a special attention. The weight of the sculpture (7 tons) is skillfully balanced on the child’s right hand, creating the illusion that the sculpture is floating in the air.
Information for Tourists
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore
Opening Hours: every day from 5 am to 2 am.
Entrance: free of charge, but there are paid entertainments on the territory of the park.
How to Get: by bus no. 400 go to the bus stop Gardens by the Bay.
Official Website: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html
The infrastructure of the gardens is well-developed, there are the gift shops, various cafes, and restaurants on the territory of the park complex.
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