Green terraces and sky gardens integrated into fabric of buildings

Gustafson Porter creates Green Heart for Singapore business district

Work is under way to create a hanging garden of lush greenery in the heart of Singapore's business district.

Designed by Gustafson Porter, the gardens occupy the central space of a major new commercial, residential and retail development Marina One, for client Mapletree Investments Pte.

Gustafson Porter worked closely with Ingenhoven Architects to develop the concept and the details necessary to achieve a high level of coordination between the landscape and architecture.

Four high-rise towers surrounding the scheme's 'Green Heart' are connected and softened by planted walkways that flow between the buildings and up the facades. The effect is of a vertical garden or traditional terraced rice paddy fields.

Singapore's hot humid climate is often seen as a barrier to active outdoor space; here features such as a waterfall and reflecting pool will help cool the air and the copious planting will reduce the heat effect. A cross axis leading through to the Green Heart will create a light breeze.

The experience of moving up through the towers has been conceived to resemble climbing a mountain, passing through a succession of different envrionments: ‘Strata Terraces’ on the lower levels; a quieter ‘Cloud Garden’ higher up away from the ground-floor hubbub; and 'Green Screens’ and ‘Rooftop Gardens’ using climbing vegetation to screen service facilities and provide habitats for birds and insects.

Gustafson Porter believes this to be an exemplar project for the integration of landscape and architecture. 'We are not aware of another public courtyard in Singapore that is as richly landscaped with tropical planting, waterfalls and pools,' said a spokesperson.

Marina One and the Green Heart are due for completion in 2017.

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