Responding to high density environments in Singapore, the Tembusu design proposal suggests a shift towards making highly populated residences more socially inclusive and livable. By mixing low density spatial elements with high density spaces, private apartment spaces and communal sky decks become more integrated and engaging. Thus, this approach creates the chance for greater social interactions. Incorporating spatial experience of living in a more natural environment, Tierra sought to create a forest-like setting by immersing the landscape into the architectural environment to express the use of vertical spools of fabric through the different levels of habitation. This experience brings to mind sun light streaming through lush green foliage and pathways meandering through the trees with gentle sounds of water. Inspired by forests, Tierra sought to introduce nature in the landscape and water interventions of Tembusu. The green network is achieved by linking distinct activity zones with varying densities of forest walks. The tree planting, similar to the rainforest tree canopy stratifications, responds to different levels of privacy, views and meandering walkways helping to define the spaces. Utilizing sky gardens and greenery as vertical intervention, residents can enjoy both the vantage views from three levels of gardens and always feel connected to the landscape features below. Gradients of dense to sparse green planters in the first storey are located at wrap around terraces on the 6th & 12th Storey. Vertical strands of stainless steel cables connect the ground floor planting skyward to these terrace verandas for vigorous creepers to rise up six storeys at a time.

Water, a key element of blue networks in a natural forest exists to enhance the sustainability in a forest. This vital element is adapted to the Tembusu through the application of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) approach towards the efficient management of rainwater. Tierra proposed to capture rainwater, retain and use of storm water would therefore remove the cause of downstream flooding or pollution. Aesthetically pleasing displays, recreational activities and urban biodiversity was utilized to enhance storm water treatment strategies. Water is channeled through the treatment system of vegetated swales and rain gardens for aesthetic and cleansing purposes. Finally, treated water is released at a measured rate into the canals. The water features also serve as catchment areas displaying storm water during heavy rains, retaining it for an extended period for visual purposes before slowly percolating into drainage systems. Thus, reducing the need for potable water and significantly lowering the water purchase costs. Landscape features such as vegetated swales, bio-retention basins, rain gardens and permeable paving surfaces are integrated into the landscape scheme, enhancing the lush green environment. The combination of densely planted forest walks and streams is envisaged to lower the ambient temperature of the landscape deck significantly, creating a thermally comfortable environment for residents to live in.

Anchored by a majestic rain tree, the drop off point is nestled between the two residential towers forming a natural enclosure. Densely planted edges on both sides define the entry clearing, leading you into the forest boardwalk within. The three towers overlooking the central deck provides a beautiful view of the water features below. During rainy seasons, a stream is formed, creating a pond which leads to a large clearing formed by the pool zone. The meandering edges of the 50 m pool enclose intimate activity alcoves such as Jacuzzis, spa beds and lounge decks. Floating activity islands are dotted around the pools forming smaller clearings such as tennis court, function rooms, gym, spa rooms and activity decks. These islands provide linkages within the meandering forest boardwalks. Huge art sculptures are integrated into the deck area as a tribute to the demolished Wing Tai garment factory. These elements form the gallery walk, serving as focal features with usable outdoor furniture such as benches, pavilions and playgrounds. Private villas consisting of a lounge deck, outdoor dining and leisure pool provides extended communal spaces for the residents. These spaces can be used as a family weekend getaway or a lively evening with a small gathering. The sky decks on the 6th and 12th storey are designed as quiet contemplative spaces, extending the indoor communal spaces. Activity pods along the sky walk are made up of outdoor lounges, casual dining, private libraries and fitness decks. The E-Club at 6th Storey & E-Villa at 12th Storey serve as ‘Destination Pods’ for the residents with facilities for private gathering events. The E-Club is designed as an active zone with game facilities and lounge decks for children while the E-Villa serves as an outdoor dining lounge for the adults to entertain friends and family.

Hence, Tierra have created a holistic approach towards a bio-diverse habitat and should be awarded the LILA award.



Entrant office name: Tierra Design Pte Ltd
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape Architect
Other design firms involved in the design of the garden (if any): nil
Project location (State or Country): Singapore
Design year:
Year Built: 2016

Featured photography by Darren Soh


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