Mapei at the Gardens by the Bay
Date:June 23, 2016
Following its independence from the Commonwealth in 1965, Singapore was conceived as an enormous garden city where parks and tropical gardens would extend around each new housing development. The opening of the first garden in the grandiose Gardens by the Bay project has now brought this tropical city even closer to that ideal of perfection.
In 2006 the British landscape architecture firms Grant Associates and Gustafson Porter won the international competition for the master plan design for the Gardens.Six years later, the project spanning 101 hectares – much of it reclaimed land – has become reality. A showcase of technology and biodiversity, the gardens and conservatories house countless varieties of plants and flowers from all over the world.
The large park is located near Marina Bay Sands Hotel and is divided into three separate gardens: Bay East, Bay Central and Bay South. The first to be completed was Bay South Garden and was officially opened to the public last year. With a surface area of 540,000 m2 it ranks as the largest garden in the world.
The birth of a grandiose project
The Bay South Garden houses the two largest glasshouses in the world, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The first reproduces Mediterranean and semi-arid tropical climatic conditions, while the second recreates a rain forest at an altitude of 2,000 metres.
To be able to house typical plants from these regions, it was essential to make optimal use of sunlight. For this purpose, the two gardens were covered with domes clad entirely with high-efficiency glass that allows 65% of sunlight to penetrate but blocks out 35% of the sun’s heat. The domes are also equipped with a shading system consisting of adjustable triangular veils.
By using low-energy systems and technologies and exploiting sources of renewable energy, the glasshouses are self sufficient and energy independent from the Gardens by the Bay system and the rest of the city. From the two gardens, visitors can admire the eighteen Supertrees, the most spectacular features of the Gardens by the Bay. These tree-like concrete and steel structures are vertical gardens from 25 to 50 metres in height whose trunks are home to no less than 163,000 plants and more than 200 species of flowers. The photovoltaic cells fitted in the Supertrees mimic the ecological functions of photosynthesis and ventilation and serve to light up the trees at night. A 128 metre rope bridge connects the two highest trees, offering visitors a splendid view over the gardens from a height of 22 metres.
The Flower Dome glasshouses featuring Mapei products
The floor in the entrance to this spectacular dome is decorated with geometrical inserts inspired by stylised trees. The white and grey granite slabs were fixed using Keraflex Maxi S1, a high-performance cement adhesive with zero vertical sag, while the porcelain tiles were installed using Keraflex, a cement adhesive suitable for floor coverings in high-stress areas. The joints were grouted using Keracolor SF superfine white cement mortar.
Another area of the large white and grey granite floored glasshouse features palm trees. Keraflex MAXI S1 was used to lay the red granite slabs that surround the palms and Keraflex for the porcelain tiles. Here too Keracolor SF was used for the grouting. Keraflex Maxi S1 and Keracolor SF were also used to fix the yellow granite slabs along the conservatory walkways and the grey granite slabs that delimit the area where several old olive trees are located. The restaurant floor is paved with bright orange tiles fixed using Keraflex adhesive and grouted with Keracolor SF.
At the centre of the Flower Dome, visitors can admire the Flower Field, an area devoted exclusively to flowers which stands out for its brightly coloured seasonal displays. The walkways that run through this part of the garden are paved with green granite slabs laid with Keraflex Maxi S1 and Keracolor SF. In other nearby areas of the conservatory, yellow granite slabs were laid over the concrete substrate, again using Keraflex Maxi S1 and Keracolor SF. The stairs connecting the various spaces in the Flower Dome are also paved with yellow granite slabs of various sizes, installed using Keraflex Maxi S1 and Keracolor SF. The bathroom floors and walls feature porcelain tiles fixed with Keraflex and once again grouted with Keracolor SF.
The granite slabs mounted on metal supports, as in the case of the access doors, were fixed using Kerapoxy two-part epoxy adhesive with zero vertical sag.
The walkways that run through the large conservatory are also paved with grey granite slabs of various shapes and sizes.
Here too the recommended products were Keraflex Maxi S1 cement adhesive and Keracolor SF grout mortar. The metal stairs that take visitors to the various levels of the Cloud Forest are all clad with grey granite slabs fixed with Kerapoxy and grouted with Keracolor SF.
The bathroom floors and walls in this conservatory feature porcelain tiles fixed with Keraflex and once again grouted with Keracolor SF. The walls of the bathrooms with baby changing tables are clad with coloured mosaic, installed using Adesilex P10 white cement adhesive with zero vertical sag and extended open time. The spaces on the top level of the conservatory are divided up by walls clad with granite tiles of various sizes and with irregular shapes installed using Keraflex Maxi S1. Inspired by rainforest vegetation, this glasshouse stands out for the constant presence of water in the form of waterfalls and pools. The pools are lined with granite tiles installed using Keraflex Maxi S1 and Keracolor FF high-performance pre-packaged polymer-modified cement mortar ideal for grouting joints up to 6 mm wide.
Shortly after being opened, the conservatories and gardens won the “World Building of the year” award at the World Architecture Festival. It was also well-deserved recognition for Mapei products.
Bay South Garden/Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Period of construction: 2006-2012
Period of Mapei contribution: 2011-2012
Mapei contribution: supply of products for installation and grouting of granite slabs, porcelain tiles and mosaic inside various spaces in the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest
Architects: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd (Singapore), Wilkinson Eyre Architects (London); landscape architects Grant Associates (Bath, UK)
Client: National Parks Board Singapore
Supervision of works: PM Link Pte Ltd (Singapore)
Contractor: Woh Hup Pte Ltd (Singapore)
Installed materials: granite, porcelain tile, mosaic
Mapei coordination: Jesseline Yap, Mical Soh, Mapei Far East Ltd
Installation of granite slabs and porcelain tiles over concrete: Keraflex Maxi S1, Keraflex, Keracolor FF, Keracolor SF
Installation of granite slabs and porcelain tiles on metal: Kerapoxy
Installation of mosaic: Adesilex P10.
For further information on Mapei products visit website www.mapei.com.