Design of the Year 2014
Jurong Eco-Garden
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Designer
Atelier Dreiseitl Asia Pte Ltd
Leonard Ng Keok Poh
Ryan Shubin
Advisor
Atelier Dreiseitl Asia Pte Ltd
Dieter Grau
Owner
JTC Corporation
Leow Thiam Seng
Engineer
Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd
Peter Khoo Tau Khiang
Main Contractor
Hortiflora Pte Ltd
Lim Kim Lee
Lowland Forest Ecologist
National Institute of Education,Nanyang Technological University
Shawn Lum
Arborist
Camphora Pte Ltd
Derek Yap
Biodiversity Consultant
Strix Wildlife Consultants
Subaraj Rajathurai

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.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Leonard’s design interest lies in finding an enduring, sustainable balance between man and his environment.

His work with Jurong Eco-Garden is his third Design of the Year tribute at the President’s Design Award. His very first recognition in the same category was in 2008 for the New Majestic Hotel Front Lawn. The achievement came before he established Atelier Dreiseitl Asia Pte Ltd, which is an affiliate of Atelier Dreiseitl GmbH, an award-winning, sustainable landscape architecture practice in Germany.

The Group, which also has offices in Singapore, Beijing and Portland in the United States, boasts a multi-disciplinary team specialising in the synthesis of landscape architecture, art and urban design, environmental technology and urban hydrology. Its portfolio ranges from water-sensitive urban design, streetscapes and masterplans, to parks and plazas, and building-integrated rainwater recycling systems.

Leonard’s second Design of the Year honour came in 2012 for the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. His projects in Singapore include the ABC Waters Phase 2 Islandwide Concept Plans and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Park. Today, Leonard’s work can be seen in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and China.

Leonard has had extensive training in Landscape Design and Urbanism. He holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Landscape Architecture from New Zealand’s Lincoln University. Leonard also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, Finance from Canada’s University of Regina. A member of the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects, Leonard also has numerous publications to his credit, and has given lectures both in Singapore and abroad.

Leonard’s approach to his craft involves extensive collaboration with diverse professional disciplines to create holistic, landscape-based solutions that engage and educate users, while respecting the environment. On the Jurong Eco-Garden project, Leonard recalls: “We held several design workshops that involve the different stakeholders so that everyone can give their input and make design suggestions”.

Leonard sees the President’s Design Award as having an integral role in creating awareness about the value of design in Singapore and how it can have a positive impact on both the design and the users. He adds: “This heightened awareness is inspiring local designers to up their game and put Singapore design on the world map”.

Advice to emerging designers:

“Never stop learning.”

JURY CITATION

Led by the idea of the Green Core as a fundamental guiding principle in planning the site, the designers of Jurong Eco-Garden gave a high level of consideration to users and the natural inhabitants that influence the experience of the space.

The design resolves complex ecosystems at a high level of detail in terms of managing soils remediation, water management and movement. Fast growing plant species have been germinated to develop a richer experience as the larger tree canopies grow. The crafting of options for moving through the site with vistas of water, art and architecture is balanced and refined. The designers have done this while demonstrating a fundamental respect for species life, migration and sustenance.

The images cannot do justice to the on-site experience, and experiencing a world-class design.

NOMINATOR CITATION

Ronnie Tan
1st Vice-President
Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects

Jurong Eco-Garden is a five-hectare park developed by JTC Corporation that forms a green lung within JTC’s CleanTech Park. CleanTech Park is Singapore’s first eco-business park that is home to businesses, practitioners and academics seeking innovation in clean-tech research. Featuring a tropical rainforest setting, Jurong Eco-Garden is a green space of respite for the clean-tech community, and also a thoughtfully preserved habitat for the flora and fauna that make up the ecology of the site. The Jurong Eco-Garden maximises the potential of an industrial site by its clever integration of cultural aspects already present. For example, the existing highly valued pottery artists’ studio and artworks within the site were well conceived and articulated. Building on the existing natural elements of the site, the designers have provided an instant landscaped effect along with a highly detailed use of materials. Circulation corridors that are well sited and take full advantage of the views through the landscape tie in the existing cultural infrastructure with the natural environment, waterways, and wildlife corridors for both users as well as the biodiversity of the area.