lakeside garden at jurong
Brief Site Information
- Size: 53 ha
- Jurong Lake Gardens will be Singapore’s third national garden, and the first in the heartlands
- Lakeside Garden is the 1st phase of the developments at Jurong Lake Gardens
- Located in the future largest commercial and regional centre outside Singapore's city centre (Jurong Lake District). Strategically located to serve the communities in the western region.
The Transformation of Jurong
The primeval vegetation that covered Jurong was rich and teeming with flora and fauna. From herbarium records, Jurong was covered with tracts of mangrove and freshwater swamp forests, comprised of a diverse palette of species.
Following the independence of Singapore, the site was envisioned to be an Industrial Estate due to its proximity to sea for shipping and the ease of moulding the landscape as the low hill could be cut down to fill swamps and reclaim land. The planning principle adopted for Jurong at the onset was that of garden industrial town which included the elements of work-live-play coupled with the image of the garden. However, with rising demand and population growth, housing estates and new neighbourhood towns were developed throughout the 80s and 90s which shifted the focus of development in Jurong away from the old town centre. The area underwent urban decay as residents moved out and the wide range of recreational facilities and amenities was underutilized as people seek for newer and more attractive facilities elsewhere in the region and city centre since mobility and affordability are no longer a big issue anymore.
In 2008 the Urban and Redevelopment Authority (URA) unveiled plans to transformed Jurong into a unique destination for business and leisure. The new Jurong Lake District consists of two precincts. The Jurong Gateway precinct will be the biggest commercial hub outside the city centre while the Lakeside precinct will be turned into a world-class leisure destination for locals and tourists.
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The first national gardens in the heartlands: Jurong Lake Gardens
Jurong Lake Gardens will be the first national gardens in the heartlands. It will complement two existing world-class national gardens – Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) and Gardens by the Bay (GB). SBG’s strength lies in its botanical emphasis, research and heritage value, whilst GB’s strength is in its themed gardens and sustainability efforts. Jurong Lake Gardens’s focus is to be a people’s garden accessible to all segments of the community. It will be a unique leisure and recreation destination amongst the other major parks including East Coast Park, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Pasir Ris Park, and is strategically located to serve the western region of Singapore. Jurong Lake Gardens is a collection of three gardens namely the Lakeside Garden (formerly known as Jurong Lake Gardens West), Central and East which form the core of the Lakeside precinct.
Lakeside Garden has been identified as the first phase of the development. The 53-hectare park aims to restore the landscape heritage of the swamp and forest as a canvas for recreation and community activities. The design is a conscious effort to bring back the nature that was unique to the Jurong area. The vision was to create a park where people, animals and plants can co-exist and bring mutual benefits in so doing.
Freshwater Swamp Forest and Alstonia Island
Before the early-mid 1900s, Jurong area was a swamp that was rich and teeming with flora and fauna. Species at the Freshwater Swamp and Alstonia Island are selected based on historical association with the Jurong area.
The Freshwater Swamp Forest is a habitat that is rich in biodiversity, teeming with plants and animals that are unique to it. The flora and fauna of the forest have adapted to cope with constant flooding, with some plants that has evolved unique root systems.
The Alstonia Island is named after the dominant tree species, Alstonia spatulata, planted on the island. Commonly known as Marsh Pulai, the tree has adapted to survive and grow in areas that are constantly flooded. The island has conditions similar to that of a freshwater swamp, as it is constantly flooded when there are changes in Jurong Lake’s water levels. What was previously a concrete drain that led from Japanese Garden Road to Jurong Lake has now been transformed into the freshwater swamp with a series of island.
There will be a meandering boardwalk that brings visitors close to the water’s edge along the western part of Jurong Lake. The Rasau walk takes visitors through a restored freshwater swamp forest that has been enhanced with some 50 species of plants, including clusters of Rasau trees, Nibong and Sealing Wax palms. The wetland habitat is inundated with water based on the water levels in the lake, creating zones for water birds to feed and forage. Rasau Walk is connected to the adjacent Grasslands and wetland trails, where visitors can experience a variety of habitats with its wide range of fauna, such as Grey Herons, Oriental Pied Hornbills, and Smooth-coated Otters. The boardwalk is approximately 300m long boardwalk with paths that range between 1.8 to 6m wide. The transitional tidal edge will have water depths ranging from 0 to 500mm.
Due to preservation of existing Hymenaea and Banyan trees, islands are created at turns. While journeying through, moments of the tranquil grasslands and serene lakeside scenery will be uncovered at various viewing spots. In the evening, the boardwalk paths will be illuminated with a soft glow along the edge.
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Herons are among the wildlife living in the Jurong Lake area. Platforms will be installed on Heron Island to encourage roosting and nesting, away from human disturbance. Enhancing habitats for wildlife and keeping the tranquility of the area are key considerations in the development of Lakeside Garden, enabling visitors to enjoy nature and biodiversity.
Nature Play at Forest Ramble
Children can play to their hearts’ content at Forest Ramble, which is a nature-inspired 2.3-hectare playground with 13 different adventure stations that encourage kids to mimic the actions and motions of the animals that inhabit the freshwater swamp habitat.
Separated into a swings area and hammock area, the Butterfly Swing lets children of different age groups swing together in different ways – toddlers can swing in a bucket, the older ones can swing together on a rope or pendulum while wheelchaired children can swing on an accessible swing. A place for kids to experience how a butterfly bob around in nature.
There will be an area where children can create music using instruments made from simple natural materials.
Mimicking the motion of a tree climbing snake, children can climb up the 6m tall Snake Tower through a series of platforms that swirls around a red tree. There are 2 slides and 1 climbing tube at various heights
In the Squirrel Play, children can balance, jump, climb, hide, run like a playful and active squirrel and seek refuge via a squirrel drey in a nest-like space.
Woodstumps Nature Trail feature
This nature trail feature is created using woodlogs from fallen trees from previous park that have provided shelters and shades. All fallen trees in the development have been repurposed into either site furnishing, landscape features such as bird hides and bird platforms, habitat logs, pathway kerbs, or nature trail feature.
Visitors can step up and down on woodstump terrace or rest on the stumps seatings. The assembly of woodlog offers a new topography for visitor to explore and reimagine the possibility of the forest.
Tidal Play: Clusia Cove
Clusia Cove will be a fun, interactive space for families in the Gardens. At Clusia Cove, children can experience a unique water playground experience featuring tidal patterns, surface ripples and directional currents that mimic water movement of coastal shores. Cleansing biotope which serves as a natural water treatment system and UV treatment are used to disinfect the water before being pumped into this play area.
The existing site has a high-water table and poor drainage system, with a gentle topography that causes waterlogging and stagnant water bodies. As part of the Active, Beautiful and Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, a long-term initiative by the National Water agency of Singapore to transform the country’s water bodies beyond their functions of drainage and water supply, into vibrant, new spaces for community bonding and recreation, ABC Waters Design elements such as vegetated swales and gravel swales were introduced as a drainage improvement. As a result 12,000m concrete drain was demolished, and a new 8,500m concrete drainage and 4,750m swales and streams was constructed. 100% of the catchment is conveyed through ABC Waters design drainage before being released to Jurong Lake.
People-oriented recreational spaces
There will be several event lawns at Jurong Lake Garden West, together with a capacity to hold more than 15,000 people at one time. The lawns will serve to provide open recreational spaces for park users, as well as to facilitate community events and vibrant programming in the Gardens.
On the 27th April 2019, Lakeside Garden was officially opened to the public. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, the Singapore Garden Festival’s Horticulture show (a nine day event) was held there, showcasing horticultural excellence and had a mix of landscape and plant exhibits, competitions, retail and workshops.
Client: National Parks Board (NParks)
Landscape Architect: Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl
Water Engineer: Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, CPG Consultants
Playground Designer: Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, Kukuk
Architect: CPG Corporation Pte Ltd
Playground Contractor: CT-Art Creation
Main Contractor: Hon Industries
Softscape Contractor: Prince’s Landscape
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For any enquiries, please contact:
Country Market Director
Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl
Tel: +65 6222 3780