Movie: Chris Wilkinson on Gardens by the Bay

World Architecture Festival 2012: "No one's ever seen anything like it before," director of Wilkinson Eyre Architects Chris Wilkinson tells Dezeen in this movie we filmed overlooking the Gardens by the Bay tropical garden in Singapore, which was named World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival earlier this month.

Gardens by the Bay

Wilkinson Eyre Architects collaborated with landscape architects Grant Associates and engineers Atelier One and Atelier Ten on the design of the project, which features eighteen of the tree-like towers and two "cooled conservatories" containing Mediterranean and tropical plants.

Gardens by the Bay

As a British architect Wilkinson discusses Kew Gardens in London, which was constructed in the Victorian era to bring tropical gardens to a colder climate, and he describes how the "flower-dome" does the opposite, by housing Mediterranean plants within the tropical climate of Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay

"What I find interesting is the experiment of changing the climate but doing it in an economical way in terms of energy," he says, and explains that a biomass boiler powered by clippings from plants all over Singapore generates most of the energy needed to control the temperatures inside the conservatories.

Gardens by the Bay

Visitors can walk around the gardens using bridges raised 20 metres above the ground, which lead to a cafe on the top of the tallest  tower. "I don't think its fair to call it a theme park, but it's designed to attract people of all ages and all nationalities as a leisure facility," says Wilkinson.

Gardens by the Bay

You can see more images of the project in our earlier story, or watch another movie we filmed with Wilkinson Eyre's Paul Baker just after the World Building of the Year Award was announced.

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Photography is by Craig Sheppard.