Landscape Designer Margie Ruddick Brings a New Meaning to Green Design

A well-earned recognition for a Landscape Architect from the Smithsonian

Landscape designer Margie Ruddick’s “Urban Green Room,” the first permanent living indoor installation, helped her win a National Design Award last week. Photo by Sam Oberlander

“Nature” is probably the last word that comes to mind when most people think about urban design. That’s not the case for landscape designer Margie Ruddick, though. For the past 25 years, she has created parks, gardens and waterfronts that blend ecology with city planning.

In New York City, home to many of her works, Ruddick has transformed Queens Plaza by merging plants, water, wind and sun with the city’s infrastructure, and designed a 2.5-acre park along the Hudson River in Battery Park City out of materials recycled from other parks in the area. Her most recent project took nature indoors at Manhattan’s Bank of America Tower, where she created a winter garden with four tall sculptures made of thousands of ferns, mosses and vines. This “Urban Garden Room” was the first ever permanent installation of a living sculpture.

Last week, Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum announced that Ruddick would be one of this year’s ten recipients of a 2013 National Design Award, hers for landscape architecture. We caught up with her via e-mail after the announcement to ask her about her work. Below, she tells us more about her award-winning “green” approach to design, why it is important and what it will mean for the future of architecture.

For 25 years, Margie Ruddick hadesigned parks, gardens and waterfronts that blend ecology with city planning. Photo by Jack Ramsdale

What is the idea behind living sculptures in urban design? What effect do they have?

The idea for this space was to allow visitors to feel immersed in nature in a small interior space with severe natural light limitations.  A traditional atrium planting (like the bamboo in the 590 Madison Ave Atrium, formerly the IBM building) would have had little impact, given the small space, plus traditional plantings would have leaned toward the light. (Keep in mind that a fascination with over-sized, topiary sculptures has emerged in the past decade. Jeff Koons‘ “Puppy” is one of his most popular pieces, constantly traveling to enliven public spaces around the world.)  The effect I wanted to have in the Urban Garden Room was to feel as if you have stepped out of the city and into a fern canyon. Visitors report that there is something about the air quality—the humidity and the smell of earth—that automatically makes them feel more relaxed and able to breathe deeply and calmly.

Why are urban green environments important in a city?

OMG!  From ancient Chinese gardens to Vitruvius to Olmsted (and to the present era of urban greening) people have recognized the health impact of green spaces—cleaning air, cooling the earth, etc.—but also the psychological impact.  There are numerous studies finding that parks and green spaces improve mood, focus, and even intelligence.  I think a city without green environments can hardly survive .

How did you get involved in creating these types of environments?

I joined the horticulture work crew of Central Park in 1983 and two years later went to graduate school in landscape architecture.  I was bitten by the bug!

What role do you see green projects playing in architecture in the next 10 years?

More and more architectural proposals integrate “a green element” into buildings and built environments.  Green roofs, wild green terraces – the vision in a lot of architecture journals these days is of nature completely integrated as part of the city and part of architecture, rather than distinguishing between nature and building.  But, a lot of the images look like the architecture has been colonized by wild plantings, and not conceived from the same idea or the same pen.  I do think right now it is something of a fad, and that in ten years the reality of how you actually do this and keep buildings standing up and water-tight will have led to an architecture that doesn’t look as much like something that was left to go to seed, but a tighter and more rigorous integration of green into structure.

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Cityscapes #3 – The Smart City?

Cityscapes 3

Date: March 27, 2013 Time: 18:00pm-19:00pm
Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cnr Buitenkant & Roeland Street, Cape Town

The latest instalment of Cityscapes, the hybrid current affairs and culture magazine devoted to “re-thinking urban things”, will be launched in Cape Town on 27 March 2013. Featuring interviews with Lagos governor Babatunde Fashola and novelist Imraan Coovadia, the bumper 140-page third issues has as its thematic focus the “smart city”.

This fuzzily defined term speaks to the increasing use of networked information and communications technologies in ordering of large-scale urban phenomenon. The magazine visits Rio de Janeiro to find out what this means practically. “Technology gives you a faster response,” explains Dario Bizzo Marques, a technology systems coordinator at Rio’s $14-million integrated city management centre, home to Latin America’s largest surveillance screen.

“We increasingly share the space and time of cities with semi-autonomous agents of a nonhuman, indeed non-biological, nature, from drones to algorithms,” offers Adam Greenfield in his provocative 100-point manifesto appearing in Cityscapes and addressing the pervasive use of tech-savvy urban management solutions. Noted urban theorist Ash Amin, in a cornerstone 5000-word interview with Matthew Gandy, is also wary of the ideological implications of reducing city management to the top-down marshalling of abstract data.

“The positivist legacy has been rekindled in the ‘big data’ approach to the city,” offers Amin. “Its conceit is to think that the availability of sophisticated mathematical models able to work large data in nuanced ways, allows the city to be visualised and understood in all its complexities and evolving changes.”

Also included in the latest issue of Cityscapes: an intimate account of living in the Nairobi slum of Kibera; a description of Sao Paulo’s oppositional graffiti cultures; a fond appraisal of the career of legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray; a look at Kigali’s ambitious master plan; a profile of artist Theaster Gates; a speculation on the city without the automobile; and a photo essay describing life in Kowloon, the famous Hong Kong tenement slum demolished in the early 1990s.

About Cityscapes: Launched in 2011 and jointly edited by Sean O’Toole and Tau Tavengwa, in collaboration with Professor Edgar Pieterse, Cityscapes offers a disparate blend of in-depth interviews, enquiring journalism, polemical editorialising and illustration rich content to document and theorise urban experience in the global south

Two Views of Woodstock:Cape Town – “Upscaling” vs “Gentrification”

Here are two opposed views of the regeneration of an old area of Cape Town, Woodstock,   it seems inevitable that any upgrading or regeneration effort  runs the risk  being labeled ‘gentrification’ with its negative connotations of poor locals being forced out by profit hungry developers. It seems ironic that in many of these cases the developers are out-of-work young professionals who seeing the opportunity, make the best of their creativity, contacts and by hard work get the thing going in the face of enormous odds. Only once they have made the area acceptably safe and more economically viable, does the area become the target for  developers to enter the market and the price of rents, land etc become a problem as the “poor”  landowning residents decide to cash in and sell their properties.

The   first post by Ravi Naidoo is the positive and development oriented “neo-liberal” view of things, from Dezeen and Mini World Tour

“South Africa has always had an Upscaling Culture”

In the second part of our tour around Cape Town, Design Indaba founder Ravi Naidoo shows us the former industrial suburb of Woodstock, which the city’s design community has recently made its home, and explains the importance of upcycling in South African design."South Africa has always had an upcycling culture"“If you have 36 hours in Cape Town and time is at a premium, you have to head down to Woodstock,” says Naidoo. It is an area of Cape Town three kilometres from the city centre that has undergone an “extreme makeover” in recent years and is now home to an array of arts, craft, fashion and design studios and shops, as well as cafés and restaurants.

"South Africa has always had an upcycling culture"

Naidoo takes us to The Old Biscuit Mill, a 19th-century biscuit factory in the heart of Woodstock, which was redeveloped in 2005 by Kristof Basson Architects, and where many of the designers that present their work at theDesign Indaba Expo are now based. It also hosts a weekly food market that draws crowds from across the city every Saturday.

"South Africa has always had an upcycling culture"

The Old Biscuit Mill recently underwent its second phase of redevelopment, converting the old  flour silo into six storeys of mixed-use space, which now houses the Cape Town Creative Academy as well as a new penthouse restaurant called The Pot Luck Club by leading South African chef Luke Dale-Roberts.

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Laura Wenz’s post,  while  more “gentrification” orientated, examines some of the problems and attempts to mitigate the negative effects from Daily Maverick

Woodstock’s urban renewal: Much more at stake than the loss of parking

In South Africa, the phenomenon of gentrification is commonly associated with the resurrection of downtown Johannesburg and the rebirth of Woodstock in Cape Town. Both areas share a common denominator for gentrification: a growing middle class with disposable incomes and a taste for all things designer. And both fail to support government’s claim that it is creating inclusive cities for all, writes LAURA A WENZ.

“When I first moved to New York, it was dingy, disgusting, dirty, ugly, flea-ridden, stinky and altogether terrifying – but then sadly the whole city started to go uphill,” laments Ted Mosby, the naïve and inveterately romantic protagonist of the popular American TV-comedy series  How I met your Mother. His sentimental statement captures the glum irony of urban regeneration: Neighbourhoods with the right mix of historical flair, cosmopolitan ambience and urban decay perpetually attract students, young professionals and artists in search of cheap rent and inspiration.

Armed with the best intentions and an undaunted can-do attitude, these pioneers set out to make their newly adopted working-class neighbourhood an even better one, praising its “gritty charm” and “original character” while they open coffee shops and organic eateries. Only too late do they realise that property developers have been watching them closely and once the word on the potential value of the once hidden gem is out, land prices shoot through the roof, artists exit through the gift shop and long-time residents end up on their stoep, door locked firmly behind them.

woodstock bromwell door

Photo: Bromwell Boutique Mall, with close-up of doorman.

Rising property values are often too readily assumed to benefit local home-owners, while in fact they have put severe strain on old-established residents, who have had to cope with rising municipal rates due to property re-evaluation. According to the Anti-Eviction Campaign, some families have not been able to afford the escalating rates, leading to their eviction and removal to‘Blikkiesdorp’.  This infamous Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) – a not-so-glamorous World Cup legacy – has been repeatedly slammed by human rights groups for its inhumane living conditions.

Though the market effects of higher land value are at first glance supporting the city council’s densification strategy as space needs to be used more efficiently, it simultaneously prohibits the development of affordable housing and rental units. This however is an essential prerequisite for making the inner city more accessible to people in the low-income bracket and cracking open the encrusted patterns of urban inequality.

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Ravi Naidoo on Design Indaba Cape Town & African Renewal

From dezeen

Our first Dezeen and MINI World Tour despatch, Ravi Naidoo takes us on a tour of his home city and explains why he founded the Design Indaba conference that is taking place in Cape Town this week.

Founded 18 years ago, Design Indaba has grown to be the world’s biggest design conference, drawing speakers from around the world and spawning an Expo showcasing South African creativity, a music festival and a film festival.

Africa today is a place of renewal, regeneration and growth

During the trip, in which we explore Table Mountain, Signal Hill and downtown Cape Town, Naidoo explains that he started Design Indaba in 1994 as an attempt to shift the economic discussion in post-Apartheid South Africa away from mining and tourism and instead promote the economic value of “ideas and intellectual capital”.

“We wanted to create a platform that would help to inspire [design in South Africa]”, he says. “This was an opportunity for us to bring the global creative community to South Africa to share their experiences.”

Africa today is a place of renewal, regeneration and growth

“Some people laughed at us at the time” he recollects. “I remember talking to a very senior politician who said: ‘our country has got vexing problems; it’s about water, it’s about housing, it’s about sanitation.’ But those are design problems.”

Buoyed by an improving economy, Naidoo believes that the design industries in Africa today are starting to flourish. “By the year 2015, of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, seven will be African,” he says. “Of course, this has a concomitant effect on the creative industries. The story is really one of renewal, regeneration and growth. And there aren’t too many places in the world that are growing right now.”

Africa today is a place of renewal, regeneration and growth

This movie features a MINI Cooper S Countryman.

The music featured is by a young South African DJ and producer calledKimon, who performed on Thursday as part of the Design Indaba Music Circuit. You can listen to the full track on Dezeen music Project.

The Emergence of Container Urbanism

A timely essay by  MITCHELL SCHWARZER in Places  on the history of container architecture and urbanism – In South Africa various uses have been made using the ubiquitous shipping container – emblem of the consumer society to shape something different – however they still cost more the what eh local populations of the South can afford so shack-land is unlikely to give way to container-land – but heir use as Spaza shops etc is common in South African shanty towns

Top: Envelope A+D, Proxy, San Francisco. [Photo by Envelope A+D] Bottom four: Proxy tenants facing Linden Alley. [Photo by Trevor Dykstra] Smitten Ice Cream. [Photo by Christopher Bowns] Ritual Coffee. [Photo by Trevor Dykstra] “Off the Grid” food carts. [Photo by Niall Kennedy]
In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, the traffic on Octavia Boulevard almost smacks into a small park before being routed west onto Fell Street. In 2005, the tree-lined, four-block-long boulevard opened as a replacement for the double-decker Central Freeway, mortally wounded by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake; the freeway was a remnant of the San Francisco Trafficways Plan (1948, 1951, 1955), a proposal by transportation planners to ram numerous limited-access highways through the dense 49-square-mile city. Although a citizen-led protest — the Freeway Revolt, begun in 1959 — halted most of the offending expressways, the Central Freeway had just blasted its way a mile or so through this section of the city, in the Western Addition neighborhood, leading to the mass demolition of older buildings. [1] But nowadays, instead of gusting above the neighborhood, vehicles inch along the surface, and contend with narrowed lanes, traffic lights and forced turns. And, since 2010, they may spy a curious new development. On two short blocks north of Fell Street, land where the freeway once ran, an architectural counterpart to the boulevard’s recalibration of transportation infrastructure has risen.
Proxy, designed and developed by Douglas Burnham’s firm, Envelope A+D, repurposes about a dozen shipping containers to house a smaller number of outdoor businesses. With openings selectively punched into their sides, canopies sprouting from the furrows and ridges of their corrugated steel surfaces, and ornaments organically growing as handles, latches and locking bars, the eight-by-twenty-foot containers host a clothing boutique, beer garden, espresso café, ice-cream parlor and bicycle rental business, as well as cooking, cleaning and storage facilities and set of restrooms. Facing each other or juxtaposed at right angles, the boxes carve intimate outdoor spaces that appear as handcrafted as the products sold by Proxy’s businesses. Painted battleship gray, they also evoke the warships that once followed the sea-lanes of the Pacific from their harbor in San Francisco. That’s ironic, because the very idea of container urbanism would seem to be counterposed against monuments of any sort, whether military-industrial or architectural. In Burnham’s words, Proxy has aimed at a “volumetric ghosting of what a real building would be.” [2]

Along with the park and its revolving art exhibits (many from the Burning Man Festival), along with the gentrified storefronts and renovated and surrogate Victorians, Proxy seems at first glance guided by the pastiche urbanism associated with postmodernity. More than elsewhere in the city, the area around it feels layered with time. The mix of locals and tourists, the foreign languages wafting across the playground and beer garden, reinforce this cosmopolitan dimension. More to the point, a thick sense of urbanity emerges fromProxy’s staging of activities in liminal zones: amid transport boxes initially manufactured to move goods and now reworked to sell them; astride the intimacy of a residential neighborhood and the circuitry of metropolitan transportation. At Proxy, people swill beer and munch pretzels and pickles atop cracked macadam only steps from an anxious stream of cars and trucks. Akin to the parts of old-world cities rebuilt over pre-modern walls or modern bombing campaigns, Proxy builds atop San Francisco’s former traumas; a row of pollarded fruit trees grows up the blank side walls of an apartment exposed half a century ago by the elevated freeway; the shipping containers themselves both recall the city’s illustrious history as a port and alert us to the innovation that led to the cargo port’s demise.

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Enrique Peñalosa to UN: “Mobility Rights are Human Rights”

Having recently travelled through Hong Kong, Bangkok , Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, I can fully agree with Enrique Penalosa that the quality of a city can be judged by the effort it takes to protects its pedestrians rights and how seriously it takes the necessity for providing for its citizens mobility.  In this regard Hong Kong is exemplary, Bangkok is starting to get it right with its river ferries and sky trains but the two Vietnamese cities have lost it with the rights to the sidewalks being dominated by motor bile parking and street traders, leaving no space for  pedestrians to walk, but in the street and having non-existant or minimal public transport, whatever is there is bogged down in the incessant traffic. From IDTP

On Monday, January 21, ITDP board president Enrique Peñalosa addressed a standing-room crowd of more than 80 at United Nations headquarters on the pressing need to promote sustainable transport as a means to poverty eradication. Mr. Peñalosa spoke on the need for a rethinking of transportation priorities, particularly in developing cities, where the majority of the population are often subject to unsafe and inefficient transportation options, while resources are diverted to build roads and highways for private car owners.

“Road space is the most valuable commodity a city has, and what do we do with it? We give it to private cars, and make people compete with cars for walking space,” said Mr. Peñalosa, “Sidewalks are the most important element of a democratic culture. Good sidewalks are the most important thing a city needs to have, but the most [politically] difficult to make happen.” Taking space away from cars is political, he explained, and difficult, as car owners have much more political power than pedestrians in most cities. Yet, building cities for people instead of cars is essential to keeping cities moving. “Trying to solve traffic jams by building bigger roads is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline,” he said, “The only way you can keep cities moving is to take space away from cars, and move more people with surface transport.” Subways can be part of the solution, he said, but even in cities with massive metro systems, such as London, “buses move 64 percent more people than the metro.”

The event, “Lunchtime Discussion on Sustainable Transport: Poverty Eradication through Sustainable Transport”, was organized by the UN missions of Thailand and The Netherlands in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and was a follow-up to a panel discussion held at the Netherlands Mission in November. The panel included Mr. Peñalosa, Robert Guild of the Asian Development Bank, Michael Replogle, Managing Director for Policy and Founder of ITDP, Cornie Huizenga, of the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SloCaT), Ambassador Herman Schaper, the permanent representative of the Netherlands to the UN, and Andreas Kopp of the World Bank. Attendees included officials from the UN missions of several dozen countries, including a number of UN ambassadors.

The event is part of an ongoing effort to ensure recognition of sustainable transport’s vital role in sustainable development in the post-2015 global development agenda, and to leverage the $175 billion committed to more sustainable transport by the world’s 8 largest multilateral development banks at Rio+20. 2015 is the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, targets for poverty alleviation and social development.

“When transport is subsumed under energy policy, key elements like traffic safety get left aside. When transport is subsumed as one element of sustainable cities, then intercity mobility and freight are sidelined,” said Cornie Huizenga of SLoCaT, a partnership of 68 organizations including MDBs, NGOs, UN agencies, national research centers, and others. “Sustainable transport needs to be recognized as its own sustainable development goal.”

Mr. Peñalosa said that good quality sidewalks for pedestrians is “the most important indicator of a democratic city”, and discussed how, as mayor of Bogotá, he was almost impeached for taking cars off the sidewalks.

“Transport, like energy, is an essential enabler of poverty eradication. Meeting these targets is not possible without improving access to jobs, markets, schools and hospitals. This will require more investment to address the mobility needs of the poor, who mostly use public transport, walk or cycle,” said Michael Replogle, Global Policy Director of ITDP. “Sustainable transport goals and indicators need to be an integral part of sustainable development goals, enabling better targeted transport spending by national and local governments and MDBs,” he said.

Gates, Buffett, can you hear me? Patrice Motsepe gives away half of family fortune

African Rainbow Minerals chairman Patrice Motsepe announced on Wednesday that his family would give away half its fortune to charity, as a part of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s The Giving Pledge. He becomes the first African to do so. How many will follow? By SIPHO HLONGWANE. from Daily Maverick

Patrice Motsepe at Davos


When ARM chairman Patrice Motsepe announced that he would be making an important announcement, the speculation was that he would be buying himself some newspapers. He was in Davos, and at the same time, Independent News and Media’s biggest shareholder Denis O’Brien met with President Jacob Zuma. The Irish group owns several papers, including The Star, Cape Times and Pretoria News, and has been seeking to unbundle its South African assets.

As it turns out, Motsepe’s announcement was of a different sort. The beneficiary will be the Motsepe Foundation, which was founded in 1999 by the ARM chairman and his wife Precious. It oversees the philanthropic work done by the family, which includes education and health; the development and upliftment of women, youth, workers and the disabled; churches; the development of entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs; rural and urban upliftment; soccer including youth soccer development and music.

“I decided quite some time ago to give at least half of the funds generated by our family assets to uplift poor and other disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans, but was also duty-bound and committed to ensuring that it would be done in a way that protects the interests and retains the confidence of our shareholders and investors,” Motsepe said.

The give-away is a part of the Giving Pledge, which encourages wealthy people to donate their fortune to charity. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett (formerly the world’s wealthiest man) founded the campaign in 2010 and have both committed large chunks of their sizable wealth to charitable organisations around the world. As of November 2012, 91 billionaires – mostly Americans – have committed to the pledge.

Motsepe said, “I was also a beneficiary of various people, black and white, in South Africa and in the US who educated, trained, mentored and inspired me and whose faith and belief in me contributed to my success in my profession, business and elsewhere. The same can be said about my wife, Precious, and we are deeply indebted to them and many more.

“Most of our donations have been private, but the need and challenges are great, and we hope that our Giving Pledge will encourage others in South Africa, Africa and other emerging economies to give and make the world a better place.”

Motsepe met with Buffett in the USA in August 2012, and with the Gates family in Cape Town later last year. The foundation will appoint an advisory council which will consist of “church and religious leaders, traditional, disabled, women, youth and labour leaders and other respected NGO and community upliftment leaders”.

According to Forbes, Motsepe’s net worth stood at $2.65 billion (R23.94 billion) in November 2012. ARM, the company he founded and chairs had a market capof R43.47 billion at the time of the give-away announcement.  It isn’t clear when the donation will happen, but it is understood that it will happen in perpetuity.

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Bringing Cities to Life with Light

From thisbigcityy Gareth Pearson – contributor to Future Cape Town, a This Big City partner site. 

cape town light

This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)

It’s strange to think how dependent we are on our little bit of Earth facing the sun. Every day, as the sun passes beyond the horizon, we flea for safety. A bustling street, full of people during the day, can become a completely different space at night. As soon as people leave (to the suburbs), shops close, and the light vanishes, and a street can become a very uninviting space. In my home city of Cape Town, there are a number of streets that do facilitate the presence of humans at night, most obviously Long Street, but most streets ‘shut down’, leaving no reasons for anyone to use them.

Light has a tremendous ability to transform a place. The use of light as an artistic medium, and a building as a canvas, can change an otherwise dark street in the city into an inviting, mesmerizing place to gather. Cape Town’s Adderley Street is transformed when the festive season lights are turned on every year, and theInfecting the City public arts festival is a notable example as well. The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance in Church Square, with the National Mutual Life building lit up in the background, or the performance of Ilulwane in the red-lit pool of Long Street Baths, show how light installations can change our perceptions and experience of a place.

There are endless international examples of light being used in some form in public spaces. Berlin’s Festival of Lights (pictured above), groups like Nuit Blanche, the recent Dumbo Arts Festival, and Greyworld’s Trafalgar Sun installation, all manage to drastically change city spaces and attract people to them. People gather like moths around a lightbulb. Even New York City’s Times Square may be used as an example. It’s flickering advertisements alone, attract people from across the world, and now Times Square is becoming a place to showcase artwork. Times Square Moment is a way to showcase artwork on some of the screens a few minutes before midnight. Artwork is even being created with the primary purpose of displaying it in Times Square, and the amount of display time is being increased as well.

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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 wasnamed 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.

Landscape of the Year announced at World Architecture Festival

World Architecture Festival 2012: the Kallang River Bishan Park in Singapore by landscape designers Atelier Dreiseitl has been given the title Landscape of the Year at the World Architecture Festival (+ slideshow).

Kallang River Bishan Park by Atelier Dreiseitl

A river winds through the centre of the park, replacing a concrete-sided canal, and features bio-engineered edges created with a variety of different plants.

Kallang River Bishan Park by Atelier Dreiseitl

This river also forms a flood plan during heavy rain, helping water to drain away naturally and preventing the grassy areas from becoming waterlogged.

Kallang River Bishan Park by Atelier Dreiseitl

A new bridge connects the park with the residential area beyond.

Kallang River Bishan Park by Atelier Dreiseitl

We’ve also announced winners for World Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year, as well as all the category winners from day one and day two.

Kallang River Bishan Park by Atelier Dreiseitl

Dezeen is media partner for the World Architecture Festival, which is taking place at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference centre in Singapore. You can follow all our coverage of the event here, including a series of movies we filmed with programme director Paul Finch.