Paul Baker on Gardens by the Bay at World Architecture Festival

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"We wanted real drama in a flat landscape" - Paul Baker on Gardens by the Bay

World Architecture Festival 2012: in our final movie from the World Architecture Festival we take another look at the World Building of the Year, Gardens by the Bay, as Wilkinson Eyre Architects' Paul Baker explains how the design team used vertical planting to create "some real drama in a very flat landscape."

Gardens by the Bay

Officially the award was given to the architects for the cooled conservatories at Bay South, but at the ceremony director Paul Finch explained that they wanted to recognise the whole team that worked on the enormous tropical garden in Singapore, which also features tree-like towers covered in climbing plants.

Gardens by the Bay

"One of the rather amazing things about Singapore is that things do grow," says Baker, discussing these vertical gardens. He explains how around the world vertical planting requires "a lot of irrigation and a lot of work" but in this project they could easily "put things in the air and get them to survive".

Gardens by the Bay

Bay South is the largest and first to complete of three landscaped gardens at the 100-hectare Gardens by the Bay site, which is sited on reclaimed land that had been a park before. Baker discusses how the government took a "brave decision" to keep the area as a large park, which in turn "increased the commercial value" of land at the perimeter. "I think they had some very good foresighted thoughts about how to make this a special place," he says.

Gardens by the Bay

Read more about Gardens by the Bay in our earlier story. You can also watch our interview with Baker just after receiving the award, or hear more about the project from architect Chris Wilkinson.

We’ve published a series of interviews with award winners at the World Architecture Festival. See all the movies, plus more stories about WAF 2012.

Photography is by Craig Sheppard.