Landscape Consultant: AECOM
Conservation, Restoration and Eco-tourism were key guiding principles in our design proposal for the redevelopment of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR). It was seen both as a destination and as part of the biodiversity corridor for wild life conservation and restoration. The idea was for urban life activities to permeate the mangrove gardens in the midst of nature, with humans being entertained and educated with and about nature throughout the 24 hour day. It was envisioned to be an expression of the dynamic ecology of the mangrove environment, providing relevant and attractive activities and programmes, which will appeal to the Singaporeans, the casual tourists and even the serious birds and botany buffs.
Architectural elements were created to integrated with the existing mangrove gardens; the aim was to provide people a natur al symbolic place to appreciate the mangrove experience, while minimising ecological and carbon footprint. All man-made structures were designed from an in depth understanding of how nature works and how flora and fauna behaves; for example, the Visitors Center was inspired by the fallen sea hibiscus leaves while the Gateway to the Discovery Center mimics the root systems of the mangrove species rising above the mud. The 75m wide outdoor observation ring adopted an organic form, made out of weaving timber lattice work to create a bird-nest like environment. Materials and detailing would have to harmonise with the true character of the wetlands. Nestled within the mangrove forests, the boundaries between the inside and outside of proposed structures are blurred. As a complement to nature, architectural elements would blend into its surrounding environment by camouflaging itself as part of nature.
The building arrangements seek to tie the whole mangrove as one and at the same time strengthen the main landscape concepts. The placement was based on 3 main types of linkages: visual, physical man-made and ecological. Our strategy is to create a network of event spaces that are physically and visually linked to co-habit nature with urbanisation.