UK landscape architect plays major role in prestigious redevelopment project

Grant Associates unveils landscape designs for Capitol Singapore

Grant Associates has unveiled details of its landscape and public realm design for Capitol Singapore, a $1.1bn (£540m) mixed-use redevelopment of a key heritage site in the city's downtown civic district.

Capitol Singapore comprises three conservation buildings – Capitol Building, Stamford House and Capitol Theatre. These, according to Grant Associates, are ‘seamlessly blended’ with a new-build project, the city’s first integrated luxury development comprising four components (‘ultra-luxurious’ residences, an ‘ultra luxury hotel’, an ‘upmarket’ retail mall with flagship stores, and the theatre).

The scheme also includes the restored public realm, a new civic plaza at the heart of the integrated development and residential roof gardens and terraces.

Grant Associates has been responsible for all the landscape and public realm design, working closely with lead architect Richard Meier & Partners Architects.

‘The Capitol landscape and public realm strategy has been developed with a respectful approach to the civic and heritage setting,’ says Grant Associates director Keith French, ‘with consideration of the vistas and views through to the Capitol Theatre as well as the views out to the adjacent St Andrew’s Cathedral’.

The new city plaza was conceived ‘as an original and crafted civic space that will be a new destination for Singapore – a space for events and theatre; red-carpet galas; a place to gather; a place to rest and seek shade.’

Water walls adjacent to the Capitol Theatre, between the pilasters of the façade, ‘add further sound and movement’, while street furniture on the circular plaza is positioned to encourage people to meet and interact.

The distinctive paving arrangement of Capitol Singapore is a key ingredient of the scheme, ‘bringing together the heritage buildings with the new architecture and developed in response to the strong geometry of the circular plaza’.

This was inspired by natural patterns and is arranged as a double radial grid that flows across the site. The flowing lines of the paving are designed to encourage movement, ‘linking the various developments together as one place, as well as being an appropriate response to ground the heritage buildings’.

The Galleria is a new sheltered street, protected by an ultra-light cable truss roof fitted with glass panels. Shade sails and planted spheres are suspended below the glass roof to manage solar heat and ‘to create an animated space reminiscent of historic open-air markets of Singapore’.

A series of themed gardens has been created on Level 3 of the ‘ultra-luxurious’ Eden Residences, including a reflexology garden with a sensory barefoot trail, a scented walk and a ginger garden. The edges of the crescent shaped swimming pools will be planted ‘with a sweep of red coloured Erythrina’ and specimen trees will be planted in a roof garden.

The retail spaces are due to open in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the residential spaces opening in the second quarter of 2015.

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