Design + Architecture

Cities of the Future

by Nicola McCormack

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The future in humid Singapore will be a lot less sweaty at Gardens by the Bay, set to be one of the largest climate-controlled greenhouses in the world. Two soaring, organically shaped steel-and-glass structures, designed by British firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects (working alongside landscape architects Grant Associates), will sit on the edge of the Marina Channel with views back over Singapore's city center—all part of a larger park development covering 230 acres. Highlights include a grove of "super trees" reaching over 150 feet tall that will support a long aerial walkway 70 feet above the ground (if you need to steady your nerves, the tallest tree will have a bar at the top). There'll also be a cool-dry conservatory with a flower field and programmed changing displays, and a cool-moist area with an impressive internal mountain and waterfall. The entire development, which will also include botanical gardens and walkways by the water, is slated to open in phases, starting in 2010. For a city that's generally considered a stopover before traveling further afield, the space-age gardens may help encourage travelers to, er, put down some roots.

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