Elmich visited the Singapore Garden Festival 2022 at Civic Plaza, Ngee Ann City, located along the Orchard Shopping District. The Show Garden Competition features a total of six plots of creations by top award-winning local and international designers from Australia, France, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
1. Green Rise
The garden is a representation of the dichotomy between urban environment and natural world, a crucial motif of our times and perfectly embodied by the city of Singapore where plants and constructed environment constantly come together in innovative ways.
It is both a rich, flourishing garden rigorously surrounded by the strict geometry of metropolitan architecture and, at the same time a metaphor of a streetscape completely overtaken by nature.
The fruit-bearing trees in the garden are translated from the traditional orchards of Singapore, which give the now buzzing main road its name, to a new fantasy for the contemporary city, Verdant and calm during the day, the garden comes alive at night with bright, colourful lights on the foliage and water mirrors, like the dazzling reflections of a busy Orchard Road in the rain.
2. The Time Garden
It was almost 200 years ago that Orchard Road came into being.
How it has changed, from its farming origins to the fading of farming, and the rise of private houses. Almost a hundred years later, Orchard Road is a fabled shopping street today.
Our Fantasy is to make this story into a series of gardens, each of which represents the evolution of Orchard Road from 1850 to 2050.
As we re-imagine the past, we gaze into the future, to find a street without constant traffic, which becomes a beautiful seamless, continuous public space of meandering walkways, cooled by shady trees, and naturalised greenery.
Traffic goes underground, with only shuttle buses above. The river runs again, trees abound, with playgrounds, outdoor cafes, event spaces, markets, and fitness and sport facilities.
This is not a dream: we are already learning how to smoothly blend the Wanders of Technology with the Winders of Nature.
3. The Orchard Bridge
Designer: Eliam Eng and Andy Eng (Singapore)
Implementing Partner: Nyee Phoe Flower Garden Pte Ltd
Once tree-flanked dirt roads lined with pepper farms, fruit orchards and nutmeg plantations, Orchard is a place of possibilities where seeds that were planted by our great forefathers transformed into a bustling boulevard today.
The aroma of the local delights at Glutton’s Square. The music that filled the roads during our Swing Singapore. The lush trees that flank the rows of modern buildings. Orchard is ever changing where the bridge of possibilities exists – The Orchard Bridge.
As the light glows within the nutmeg, Orchard is surrounded by bountiful greenery on the Orchard Bridge, rejuvenating and inspiring the space above the busy street. Fluidity of Mother Nature, forms, and shapes take place where man and nature co-exist.
Walk around along the bridge and listen to the magic of nature. The tranquillity of the waterbody brings calm and true joy when every drop of water shines like a pearl.
The harmonious relationship between man and nature is the bridge between you and the world.
4. Retour aux Sources
Designer: Pierre-Alexandre Risser (France)
Implementing Partner: Prince’s Landscape Pte Ltd
We draw on history when the nourishing fruits of the orchard, the sweet scent of flowers and the soft shade of the foliage took pride of place in the middle of present boulevards.
We dream of a self-sufficient city where the produce of urban cultures nourishes our memories and our curiosity. Let us pool our know-how and our crafts to serve the city of today and tomorrow.
Lapping of the water attenuates noise of the city and brings freshness which, combined with the abundance of vegetation, makes us forget the urban frenzy for a suspended time.
The dialogue between the raw materials of the garden and the smooth texture of the city questions us and awakes our senses through touch.
Let’s help Nature to penetrate our cities and our lives, through the proliferation of our ideas and the sharing of common sense. Let’s develop biodiversity for virtuous circle.
5. Inner Growth Garden
Designer: Christian Jenkins (Australia)
Implementing Partner: Tropic Planners & Landscape Pte Ltd
This eye-catching garden highlights the possibility of a luxurious tropical escape within an urban landscape while also giving us time to reflect, meditate, and appreciate the richness of the natural world. Inner growth is designed as a sanctuary in the urban landscape to offer tranquil living with meaning and purpose while improving man’s and nature’s harmony. The design of paved walkways, peaceful lagoon, and viewing platforms complement and echo the inevitable journey of life, which creates change, new perspective, and inevitably growth.
The planting palette incorporating rare and exotic plants creates a lush dense, shelter, and safety, creating more time to connect with nature. The gentle stroll around the garden will allow visitors to contemplate the magic of simple living and high thinking, and offer respite from the pressures of city life.
6. The time: In the far, far away future.
Designer: B Gurumurthy (Singapore)
Implementing Partner: Landscape Engineering Pte Ltd
An apocalyptic event has dramatically changed the climate as well as Earth’s habitats. Although a few humans survive with their body structure intact, all the flora and fauna transformed into “giants”, dwarfing the human inhabitants.
This fantasy garden is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which human survivors find a way to co-exist in an environment where they no longer dominate. In the midst of towering vegetation and insects, in the form of sculptures crafted from recycled materials, the survivors gather to forage for food and seek comfort from each other.
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