Archives for posts with tag: Urban Renewal

For many of us celebrating the Easter weekend, it is a religious occasion. One theme of Easter is that of new life (hence the tradition of the Easter egg). For me the rejuvenation of gardens and public spaces is akin to this. I have been to Singapore nine times now and enjoy immensely¬†travelling to the city state. It has a buzz and energy about it, while presenting beautiful gardens that are boosted by the tropical climate and rains. Singaporeans enjoy presenting their gardens in new and innovative ways. The Gardens by the Bay at Marina Bay are no different, and they are truly magnificent. We saw them under construction a couple of years ago when we took the opportunity for a stopover in Singapore on the way to Europe, staying at the Marina Bay Sands (you can get amazingly cheap rates on the rooms if there is not a big event on at the same time as your visit). I didn’t know what I was looking at from the hotel balcony view until I got back home and found this article on inhabitat.com . So I said to my wife that next time we go to Singapore we have to see these gardens and their super vertical garden “trees”. Below are a couple of shots of the gardens under construction. BTW – as per usual, all these images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

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Late last year we finally got the chance to go back and visit the gardens, open to the public and in full bloom. To get there you have to walk past the imposing Marina Bay Sands hotel complex, and over the bridge that separates the gardens from the uber-size hotel-casino. When you finally arrive it is like being sucked into another world full of flora and colour. The Supertree vertical gardens greeted us, and I must admit I was awestruck by the genius of their design and construction.

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The elevated deck that allows you to walk through the “trees” looks awesome. I think we will take the walk on the deck next time we go, now that the Pok (our son) has properly found his feet.

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There are several themed gardens located throughout the site, in many ways reflecting the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people of Singapore. We stopped for a rest in the Chinese Gardens, where the backdrop was the three huge towers of the uber-size hotel-casino. We could see the storm clouds approaching in the distance and it rained briefly on us several times while we were walking around.

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You can’t get away from the Supertrees and there are some 18 in total at the gardens. You can go right up to the base of these structures and there is excellent information about the trees and how they work – truly impressive!

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There are a few other themed gardens with different plants that are being nurtured. Turning a corner sucks you into what at first appearance would be a completely different garden from the one you just left.

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The Pok had an excellent time running around the gardens and spent a lot of time doing laps around the base of the Supertree above. At the time, with him being so young, he found it quite a novelty that he would walk the base of the structure and see Mummy and Daddy again, and again, and again.

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Finally, the proper tropical storm approached and brought an end to our visit. We had a fantastic time, and will definitely visit again to see a lot of the parts that were still being finished and maybe seeing the greenhouse too. I think a visit at night would also add a different dimension to our next visit, with the whole site lit up under the different coloured lights. I would definitely recommend a visit to these Gardens if you are spending 48 hours in Singapore. One tip, bring water! The humid Singapore climate coupled with all the walking you will do when visiting the gardens will leave you parched. If you want to know where the gardens are in Singapore, I have inserted the Google Maps link below.

Google Maps - Gardens by the Bay

For all of you that are celebrating Easter, have a happy one with family and friends.

Returning from my morning bike ride the other week I took the Oxford Street bus lane express back home. This is surprisingly quick, with the only danger being overtaking a parked bus picking up passengers. But I noticed to my left that the Paddington Reservoir Gardens was open (at 7:30 in the morning). I had first discovered this through the website inhabitat.com and this article: Sydney Transforms Waterworks Ruins into Incredible Public Park. I was a bit embarrassed to discover this on an American website given that the site is less than 5km as the crow flies from where I lived. It became a mission of mine to photograph this park.

What I found was a stunning example of urban rehabilitation and a small oasis in what is quite a ‘citified’ area of Sydney. It is one whole storey below street level and once you descend you forget that you have just left the bustling city. The architectural design is tranquil and uses the old structures as a skeleton to lay out a modern garden both at street level and on the subterranean level. As an amateur photography who loves buildings, design and architecture, I got a feeling of giddy excitement as I viewed all the lines and patterns. Below are some of the shots. As usual, the images click onto my larger images hosted on Flickr.

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I would love to go back and shoot this location again. Since I was last there I have acquired my one and only Canon L series lens. I was a bit disappointed with the light for this shoot too. But as with all photographers, I am always trying to acquire the perfect shot. If you ever visit Sydney, you can find the gardens at this location on Google Maps below:

Google Maps - Paddington Reservoir Gardens

 

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