Previously I touched on the introduction of Singapore Gardens by the Bay themed cultural gardens. Today, I shall cover the Gardens by the Bay Lakes and Super Trees.
Noteworthily, large water supplies are needed to run the gardens. Moreover Singapore gets most of her water from water imports and local water catchments. Also, with increasing push for sustainable water policies towards water reclamation/mass-desalination in the country’s pursuit for water self-sufficiency and supply security.
Moreover, the gardens were designed to supplement Singapore’s water supply rather than deplete it. This is achieved by combining three working elements together in the region. It comprises of the Gardens itself, forming the natural “filters”, the Marina Reservoir and the Marina barrage for water containment.
Furthermore, the Marina Barrage is an iconic structure at the mouth of the Marina Channel. It forms an artificial dam creating Singapore’s fifteenth and newest reservoir, the Marina Reservoir. Additionally, the barrage serves two main purposes. Firstly creates a freshwater reservoir/lake to boost Singapore’s water supply. Secondly to act as an overflow regulator. This is synonymous to a tidal barrier (one-way dam) for the Marina reservoir itself in retaining freshwater. Also, this keeps the Bay water level consistent, preventing flooding in low-lying city areas. Additionally, it offers a venue for water-based activities in the heart of the city.
The Garden Lakes
Moreover, the gardens play a passive, complementary, yet critical role in maintaining water supply and quality in the Marina Bay reservoir. The reservoir is surrounded by the Singapore central business district. Also enclosing the whole park gardens here is an integrated lake system. These lakes are named the Dragonﬂy and Kingﬁsher Lakes.
Furthermore, this surrounding lake system was designed to be an extension of the Marina Reservoir. It incorporates several key ecological processes and functions as a living system, such as providing clean water by natural rainwater filtration techniques.
Additionally, the lake system captures the water run-off. Henceforth, various aquatic plants subsequently cleanses this water before being discharged into the reservoir for storage. It comprises of aquatic reeds, filter beds, and the mangrove wetlands.
Moreover, this provides the Gardens with a natural built-in irrigation and filtration system. This ensures a balanced water nutrient load by incorporating islands of aquatic plants and reed beds to absorb nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) in the water. Also, a reduction of nitrogen levels is critical to minimizing alga bloom and ensures better reservoir water quality. This is critical to ensure quality of drinking water.
A self-sufficient ecosystem
Moreover, this new ecosystem here is also a welcome to native species insect and plant species. This lowers the environmental impact of the nearby concrete jungle. Also, the lakes provide aquatic habitats for maintaining a bio-diverse aquatic ecosystem such as fishes and dragonflies. Through a diverse resident population of aquatic plants, henceforth, habitats for fish and dragonflies are created within the lake system. Additionally, natural predators, good water circulation and aeration keeps mosquito breeding in check.
Furthermore, the lake system depicts the role and importance of plants in the healthy functioning of our ecosystem. Also, it raises awareness of the value and roles aquatic plants play in nature in creating natural clean water in sustaining biodiversity. Moreover, it also reduces human utilization of the earth’s photosynthetic capacity leading to irreversible climate change.
Mystical Super trees
You will never pass a visit to the Gardens by the Bay without noticing the array of tall alien-looking trees sprouting out in the visible distance. Also known as the “Super trees“, most of them reside mainly in the centrally located Super tree grove area of the gardens, used mainly for large events and home to few eateries.
Moreover, these 50 meter tall man-made super structures were built as vertical gardens. These introduced “trees” provides an immediate artificial balance to the garden ecosystem. Also, this allows to garden to “fast forward” time limitations to naturally grow a complete natural garden from newly reclaimed land which the gardens sit on.
Its large dimensional scale mimics the natural ecological functions and form provided by large fully-grown mature rain trees. Moreover, it provides integral sustainable energy functions through heat regulation and even electricity generation. Also, the tree tops act as temperature-moderating air vents for the nearby greenhouse conservatories.
Moreover, it functions as environmental engines. It absorbs accumulated heat in the greenhouses and dispersing it into the atmosphere via internal ducts. Hence, this minimizes the Gardens energy consumption and carbon dioxide impact for greenhouse air-conditioning, with lowered need for on-site power generation.
Gardens by the Bay Super Tree Grove
Additionally, various tropical climbing plants, ferns and flowers were grown to completely cover the artificial trees. This is to minimise its man-made visual impact. Notably, only its funnel-shaped top is left exposed. This, to a small extent provides shelter and helps in water harvesting and storage. Moreover, it provides an alternative source for irrigation and aiding water technology within the conservatories. Also, situated outside this Super Tree grove are several other smaller groups of Super Trees clusters. Presumably, they were built to serve the irrigation needs of the conservatories given it’s closer proximity.
The Super trees too, brings the “tree house” ideology beyond your typical backyard hut. Furthermore, these super structures are large enough to house F&B outlets. Notably, one of them home to a tree-top Chinese noodle restaurant and an elevated suspended skywalk.
Moreover, the OCBC skywalk is public accessible at $5 a pop, offering panoramic views of the gardens. Moreover, from the skywalk, you can see the nearby dragonfly lake with the Marina Bay Sands resort in the background. These are all seen from the confines of the Super tree grove itself. Also, structurally, the skywalk itself is anchored between two of the largest super trees. It is held in place by a network of guy wires portraying a floating suspended bridge arcing impossibly between the trees. The viewing platform is accessible using one way-lift leading and down the other.
Furthermore, at fixed times every night about 9pm, the Super Tree grove will all lit up for a musical light show. Also, the trees will be pulsating through various shades of light colours in sync to background music played throughout the Super Tree grove area. It is something like a “dry musical fountain” equivalent, only done with mostly using the chronography of lights on the trees itself.
Gardens by the Bay Super Tree Grove at Night
When there are no performances, the trees will default to a mix of blue and white colours. Moreover, it alternates and slowly fades between these colour schemes. Also, interestingly, this strikingly looks almost like an alien signal calling out into the reaches of space. Moreover, an array of photovoltaic panels line the top of the trees. This provides a source of solar energy for the gardens night time illumination. Additionally, using the stored photovoltaic power accumulated in the day time, the harvested sunlight powers the surrounding signage, public infrastructure and projected media at night.
With that, lets move onto the highlight structures of Gardens by the Bay, the twin cooled climate-controlled conservatories.
Next off the conservatories, next page, the Flower Dome Conservatory ».