Inspired by nature, architects in Singapore are turning blueprints green with verdant developments. Projects such as The Glades at Tanah Merah by Keppel Land embody the spirit of the Garden City, allowing residents to immerse themselves in the exquisite experience of resort living.

From soaring skyscrapers topped with gardens to office buildings adorned with wall-to-wall foliage, biophilic design – an innovative way of designing places that unites urban living with greenery to satisfy people’s need for nature – is taking root in Singapore and breathing new life across the architectural landscape.

Gone are the drab buildings of old, replaced by a harmony of elegant designs and lush vegetation. Research has shown that such natural elements are not only beautiful but also improve people’s mood and reduce their stress levels

The Glades, a condominium development by Keppel Land and China Vanke, for instance, will feature homes nestled in an undulating terrain of gardens, trails and cascading waters, complete with a waterfall masterpiece. The property is a prime example of how uplifting developments that embrace natural living environments can be.

Luxuriant flora not only pampers the eyes, but also acts as a chic and natural air-conditioner to help keep the buildings and homes cool. Researchers in Singapore have found that housing estates with about 22 percent of vegetation coverage are up to 2 degrees Celsius cooler than those with only seven percent coverage.

Walls of greenery are also used by The Glades, and other properties like Keppel Land’s Ocean Financial Centre, to absorb and break down pollutants, especially those from vehicles, shielding people from their harmful effects. The natural buffers also muffle incoming noise and protect people from aural annoyances such as car horns.

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The Glades at Tanah Merah
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Residents at The Glades looking for fresh air and an instant getaway from the bustling city can stroll or run the property’s Rainforest Valley Walk and Forest Trail. Studies have shown that just five minutes of working out in nature’s midst improves people’s mood and self-esteem, while 20 minutes of looking at nature can return the brain to a relaxed state after a stressful experience. Not forgetting the potential benefit of improving children’s concentration levels. 

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Forest Walk

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Spa Pool

Water elements in a development can also  enhance concentration, promote feelings of tranquillity and improve general well-being. Which is why more than half of Corals at Keppel Bay, another residential development by Keppel Land, is covered by water and greenery, earning a certification by the National Parks Board’s Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF).

Living as one with nature, however, is not just about a passive appreciation for greenery and its benefits.  At The Glades at Tanah Merah, residents can use the Spice and Herbs Garden to learn how to grow plants, and enjoy the fruits of their labour in their homes. 

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Recreational Pool

Going one step further, The Glades’ Eco Pond and bio-swale – which is a shallow, vegetated canal – actually help to cleanse rainwater through the plants’ natural filtration abilities, contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment in the condominium and beyond as the water is discharged into Singapore’s drainage system.

Whether it’s adding splashes of greenery to the design palette or making the flora a star in its own right, developers have come a long way in bringing nature home. For buyers and environmentalists alike, the verdict is clear: two resounding green thumbs-up.  

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