Refreshing the soul of a city

A city’s ability to thrive can hinge on many things, but one of the most important is providing enough space for people to enjoy their leisure time. As well as enhancing an area’s appeal, creating open spaces can also encourage social interaction and help residents to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The Singapore government grasped this concept perfectly as part of a strategy designed to transform Singapore from a garden city, to a city in a garden. The aim was to raise the quality of life by enhancing the amount of green space in the city. The result was the stunning Gardens by the Bay.

Spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land, the complex features two conservatories housing Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical ecosystems – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest – which are among the world’s largest climate-controlled glass houses. Outside, 18 “supertrees” dominate the landscape, providing a home to various exotic plants, while 11 of them also serve environmental functions such as harvesting solar energy.

The conservatories and the supertrees are protected with a high performance coatings system supplied by AkzoNobel’s International brand. More than 50,000 liters of paint was used on the structural steelwork to protect the substrate from the effects of corrosion. The three-part system was chosen both for its anticorrosive properties and its high quality aesthetic finish.

First opened in 2011, Gardens by the Bay was named World Building of the Year 12 months later, attracting nearly four million people by the end of March 2013. Its Chairman, Theresa Foo-Yo Mie Yoen, sums up its appeal: “At its heart, Gardens by the Bay is the people’s garden. A space for all to enjoy the beauty of nature within the city.”