leonard receiving award for gallop
Gallop 5 & 7 - part of Singapore’s Botanic Gardens’ Gallop Extension - was awarded a distinction in conservation, one of the highest accolades at the recent Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Architectural Heritage Awards. URA Architectural Heritage Awards (AHA) was launched in 1995 to recognise well-restored gazetted national monuments and conserved buildings in Singapore. The scheme serves to encourage conservation best practices.
The Gallop Extension provides opportunities for visitors of all ages to unwind amidst nature and gain a deeper understanding of forests and habitats in the region. It comprises the OCBC Arboretum, Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge, COMO Adventure Grove, HPL Canopy Link, as well as additional trails, scenic lawn and landscaped areas and naturalised habitats. Two conserved buildings at 5 & 7 Gallop Road have been refurbished into the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum and Botanical Art Gallery respectively.
As the landscape architect for Gallop Extension, Ramboll worked with the National Parks Board (NParks) to design a biophilic garden and adventure grove that was inspired by the surrounding native trees that appeal to the visitors.
“We are very proud that our project won the highly recognised award by URA. Biophilic design is the fundamental principle to our landscape design approach which plays a key role in honouring the sense of place whilst creating the connection between people and nature.” Jelle Therry, Ramboll’s design director for landscape in Asia Pacific, commented, “Especially worth mentioning is the COMO Adventure Grove playground which contributes to building a sustainable relationship between nature and the future generations through play, thanks to its biophilic approach.”
The COMO Adventure Grove is inspired by the distinctive trees that are found at Gallop Road. Ramboll studied the site to create a biophilic playground that seamlessly blends into the surrounding of Gallop Road. The playground aims to bring children back to nature and appeal to children’s inner desire of exploring. Children are encouraged to swing at the aerial roots of the Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), climb on a magnified Cempedak (Artocarpus integer) or hop on the Saga seeds (Adenanthera pavonina). All playscapes are carefully designed through 3D modelling and digital design tools. The Ramboll team ensures the thrilling and exciting elements of the playground while ensuring safety measures are met.
“Biophilic playground approach is necessary for Singapore due to its density. Aiming to bring children closer to nature and change their mindset, it helps our future generations to appreciate and build a sustainable relationship with nature through interactive play. We see this approach particularly relevant to large cities with high density.” According to Lingyi Gu, Ramboll’s project manager for the award-winning project.
Ramboll has extensive experience in biophilic playground designs, having worked with NParks on the Forest Ramble at Jurong Lake Gardens, Singapore’s first national gardens in the heartlands, as well as the Forest Exploration Trail at Rifle Range Nature Park. Ramboll also designed the largest nature adventure park at Outward Bound Singapore at Coney Island, which is currently under construction.