Gardens by the Bay: nature and design
In Singapore, where the sea once stood, today lies a botanical Garden that amazes the world: the land it occupies is, as they say, ‘reclaimed from the sea’. On this land, abundant with water from the bay, an expanse of rare tropical and non-tropical plants from every part of the world can be found - a multitude of colours from millions of flowers of every existing variety, wide avenues carefully designed to inspire relaxing walks and a profusion of lush greenery… Within this park, high-tech creations surprisingly appear out of the blue: tall metal palm trees, the so-called Supertrees. There are eight of these artificial trees, which have heights of up to 50 metres and a bold design that makes good use of the natural context, with multicoloured plants and flowers that ‘cling’ to the trunks. These unique trees, which are lit up at night, animating with delightful, fairytale-like colours, are powered by a renewable energy source, a source of pride for the gardens, who have focused on this particular form of respect for nature. The Supertrees are connected by walkways that allow visitors to admire the garden as well as the superb surrounding urban landscape from above. In addition, curvy pavilions of steel and glass are set among the stretches of flowers and plants in this hundred hectare park (considered one of the largest parks in the world). These ‘conservatory domes’ are sophisticated greenhouses where certain plants are kept in their own natural microclimates. As part of the events to mark the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Gardens, one of these domes, at July, host the world premier of an unusual art exhibition from the young curator Francesca Nannini, who present the work of the Brescian Roberto Visani, an artist who has won many awards in Italian and international competitions. As a tribute to the Gardens, the artist present his bronze and terracotta sculptures, which originate from his favourite source of inspiration: nature. His artwork depicts the seeds of various plants, many found in the park, on a large scale; seeds of 4,000 varieties that he has searched for and gathered on his travels around the world. This unique, symbolic experience reveals a microscopic subterranean world, unknown to most of us, that evokes the source of life which, in the gardens, explodes into phantasmagorical shapes and colours. The seed of the “Dragon’s Blood” plant is truly unique: it was personally gathered by the artist from the Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Among all these sculptures, the place of honour goes to the orchid seed, the national flower of Singapore, found in hundreds of varieties in the Gardens by the Bay.