RiverGate, the new landmark along Singapore River, harmoniously combines the convenience of city living and a verdant garden setting
Issue: Jun 2009
RiverGate - adding a lush green landmark along the Singapore River skyline
Refusing to rest on its laurels, Singapore, the 'Garden City' is now growing skywards with sky terraces adorning its brick and mortar urban jungle. City dwellers who wish to live in high-rises and yet have nature at their doorstep can now find a tranquil retreat in RiverGate residences.
High-rise living with nature at your doorstep
Strategically located on the Kim Seng Park end of Singapore River, RiverGate is the sole high-rise residential development in the area, its three 43-storey blocks affording majestic views of the city. Adding to this, the extensively landscaped areas on ground and sky-rise levels extend the experience of the Park to its residents.
With a total of 45 sky gardens accessible to residents, starting the day with a stroll in the garden is not that far-fetched, even 20 metres above ground. Instead of ascribing an orderly manner to the sky terraces, these are located every 2 to 3 storeys on different sides of the building, allowing for trees to be planted.
In addition to the sky gardens, planter boxes and trellises or support frames placed in balconies and recesses aid the growth of creepers and climbing plants, emphasising the residential development’s vertical garden concept. The diverse palette of plants used includes trees and climbers that create an extensive green veil screening the façade from the heat, improve air quality and create a cool air basin for the residents.
The landscaping also includes a 50-metre lap pool, jacuzzi, children's pool and play areas, barbecue deck, a multi-purpose lawn, sky-gym, basketball and tennis courts. Aside from the vertical greenery, the natural settings of the residential tower extend to the meandering Singapore River and the distinctive historic character of the area. To achieve this, landscaped terraces at various heights alternated by a pool area, timber deck and beautifully manicured lawns gradually cascade down to the river's edge.
Gardens in the Sky
Trellises and planter boxes aid the growth of the vertical garden
The innovative design of gardens in the sky, conceptualised for RiverGate in 2002, was the foremost in its cadre. It was the first time that such a bold idea was introduced. In April 2009, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched the LUSH, or “Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High Rises” programme. The aim of LUSH is to ensure that city dwellers are never far from greenery, even if the cityscape becomes intensive with high-rise structures.
"The programme will strengthen Singapore's distinct identity as a tropical City-in-a-Garden, benefit our environment by mitigating the urban island heat effect and improve air quality," states the URA. "The provision of greenery within developments will also help provide visual relief and improve the quality of life of urban dwellers."
RiverGate's design reinforces Singapore's green and ecological urban setting, and matches the URA's sustainability targets by ensuring that the greenery lost on the ground is replaced vertically.
RiverGate sits on a landmark site earmarked for safeguarding by URA under its Landmark and Gateway Plan. Although URA’s urban design guidelines stipulate height restrictions on new developments along the Singapore River, RiverGate’s innovative architecture and lush landscaping received the thumbs-up from URA’s Design Guidelines Waiver Committee (DGWC), which waived urban design requirements such as the height restrictions.
In a way the high-rise towers serve two purposes: they allow the grounds to be freed up for landscaping and the 43-storey blocks to be enveloped amidst park-like settings.
Living room, looking out to lush greenery
Not surprisingly, RiverGate’s cutting-edge architecture, coveted location and lush green vista have rightfully accorded it with a 'Landmark' status by the URA, the first residential project in Singapore to be recognised as such.
RiverGate enables the people of this city to step out into the nature each day while they live, work and play. By raising the island nation's "Garden City" image into the clouds, it is shaping Singapore to be at the forefront of the world's most liveable and vibrant cities.