The Jurong Eco-Garden is a five-hectare eco-garden within the 48-hectare Clean Tech Park. Located in Jurong, the development is earmarked to be the first business park within a tropical rainforest setting. Its Green Core, designed to serve as the Park’s green lung, not only offers a space for respite to the human inhabitants of the Clean Tech Park, but is also a thoughtfully preserved habitat for the flora and fauna that make up the ecology of the site.
Underlying the design of the eco-garden is a deep respect for nature. The Green Core not only allows for sustainable co-existence with nature, but also for engaging with and learning from it.
“One example is the creation of green corridors for animal movement. This is typically 30 metres in width, but due to space constraint, we were restricted to 15 metres. So we deepened the corridor and planted it heavily to heighten the sense of privacy and security for animals using the corridors”, Leonard Ng, Managing Director of Atelier Dreiseitl Asia Pte Ltd, explains.
Clusters of buildings on the site are also arranged with co-existence in mind – they feature an urban front on one side, and look out onto forest on the other.
The challenge, Leonard adds, lies in finding a balance between commercial viability and the requirements for a successful eco-park.
In creating the eco-garden, Leonard and his team took advantage of the natural elements of the site wherever possible. Existing eco-habitats and the natural topography of the land were kept intact. Indigenous wildlife species were carefully documented and an actual wildlife corridor was retained and enhanced. Water elements found on-site were harnessed to support the existing hydrological flow of the site.
In keeping with the designers’ philosophy of maintaining a sustainable long-term balance between the development’s commercial needs and the site’s natural biodiversity, materials found on-site and elsewhere were recycled where possible and integrated into the design. The vegetation in this eco-garden is divided into four softscape zones identified through a Biodiversity Impact Assessment baseline report. Singapore’s last two dragon kilns are located within the site and continue to operate without disruption.
Commenting on the greatest functional value of the project, Leonard says: “As the Singapore economy moves up the value chain, the talents that support our economy demand more than fair wages. They look for inspiring environments to live and work in. Jurong Eco-Garden shows the design potential for future business parks”.
Leonard believes the Green Core fulfills the President’s Design Award’s vision by bringing into focus the tremendous potential for urban developments to co exist in harmony with nature.