The days of waiting for a tree to grow, an inconveniently lengthy process, are at an end, as these incredible “supertrees” prove. Located in Singapore, they’re about to join the Esplanade theater (and in the future, Lucasfilm’s Sandcrawler-styled headquarters) as one of Singapore’s most futuristic landmarks, when they and the Bay South gardens in which they’re located, opens to the public at the end of the month.
Stretching between 80 and 164 feet (25 to 50 meters) into the air, they’re actually “vertical gardens” and not just metallic facsimiles of a regular tree, but they do offer many of the same benefits.
The canopies collect rain water, absorb heat and provide shade in the gardens below, plus photovoltaic solar cells generate electricity to power the park’s illuminations and water pumps. The gardens will also have two bio-domes, and the trees will act as vents for them too.
There are 18 supertrees in Bay South, and although their symmetrical shape and obviously metallic structure make it look a bit like a garden on Cybertron, when you get up close you see they’re covered in plants.
Not just one or two either, but as many as 226,000 from more than 200 different species, ranging from ferns to flowers.
Several of the highest supertrees will be linked together by the Skywalk, a 420 foot long walkway that will provide a birds-eye view of the gardens, and atop one of the trees will be a restaurant.
The supertrees are just part of the Gardens by the Bay project, which was launched back in 2006, and are located in Bay South, which will open before Bay East and Bay Central on June 29.
Singapore is home to more than 4.5 million people, has one of the highest population densities in the world, and is a popular tourist destination. The government wants to turn it into a “city in a garden,” offsetting the urban sprawl with equally sprawling eco-parks — even if some of it has to be constructed rather than grown.