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Species that call Kampung Admiralty home.


A combination of several typologies and uses exists at Kampung Admiralty (KA). Designed by WOHA architects, it integrates housing, food, shopping, healthcare and educational facilities in one building. It also has an incredible variety of greens - a community farm, roof gardens, vertical greens, park, and a stream lined with aquatic vegetation. Known for its integrated developmental approach which invokes a village or 'kampung' spirit mixing the young and old in a lush and relaxing mix of greens, it won the Oscar for Architecture i.e. the World Building of the Year 2018 award. Given that species respond to different building heights and typologies, we were tasked to quantify the diversity (which species) and abundance (how many) of species use the building. We recorded an incredible diversity of 50 species during day and night surveys over a period of 2 months - a high number for a building in a built-up area and testimony to the functional value of the building's greens. In comparison, our biodiversity surveys at two neighborhood parks revealed only 33 and 44 species respectively. We also conducted social surveys about how users felt about the building's greenery. 95% of respondents were supportive of greenery at KA whereas 60% supported the notion of a biodiversity-rich building. KA performed 8 - 30% as good as a pristine rainforest in terms of the ecosystem services it provides.   


OASIA Hotel, Singapore


Several vertical landscaping typologies and techniques have been applied to enhance the biodiversity and biophilic value and reduce the environmental footprint of tropical buildings. OASIA, designed by WOHA architects, is one such building in downtown Singapore which seamlessly integrates greenery on the building façade and at different floors of the building. For that, it won the Best Tall Building Worldwide 2018 award. Our biodiversity audits concluded how the building form and the surrounding environment influence the observed biodiversity. The green carpet of climbers which organically wrap OASIA supports lower biodiversity than Kampung Admiralty's lush gardens but performs well in terms of ecosystem services. The climbers effectively multiply the building's green footprint. As a result, OASIA's greenery performs 8 - 68% as well as a pristine rainforest for different ecosystem services.      


Species that call OASIA home.


Baoshan District, Shanghai

We worked with architectural students from the National University of Singapore and Tongji University in Shanghai to guide them develop a biodiversity and ecosystem service enhancement strategy for the Baoshan District of Shanghai. The collaboration focused on developing a landscape approach towards greening at the neighborhood and district scale. We drew design inspiration from Shanghai's Dongtan wetland reserve and proposed green plan which led us to enhance migratory bird habitats along the district's coastlines, plan in-land wildlife corridors where animal movement bottlenecks existed and intensify key existing green areas. Several new corridors also incorporated supplementary fringe uses such as community farming and permaculture. Ecosystem services of green areas were calculated using the ESII tool and incorporated into urban design.  


Dongtan Wetland Reserve in Shanghai served as our design inspiration for the Baoshan District.  


NEOM City, Saudi Arabia


Working with TR Hamzah & Yeang Architects, we developed an ecological strategy for the masterplan of Saudi Arabia's newest planned city - NEOM City. The planned city sits in an ecologically important coast that is rich with complex coral reefs, seagrasses, and high marine diversity. It also has sites with important historic and cultural values.

The proposed design retained the rich ecology and much of the original vegetation of the ground plane. Water bodies with naturalized banks (wadis) were added to create a biodiverse habitat. Elevated golf courses and boardwalks were proposed to retain ecological connectivity between the coastal, seagrass and coral reef habitatsAll this while creating a high tech., liveable, culturally sensitive, and environmentally sustainable precinct.    


Develop a city that organically blends with the ancient landscape and culturally rich terrain.   


NEOM City Waters 


Phioto: WOHA

Forbes Residences, Perth, Australia

We evaluated the ecosystem service performance of the proposed Forbes Residences in Perth, Western Australia using the ESII tool and additional calculations. The idea was to show the clients how greens are more than what meets the eye!! They not only succeed in attracting wildlife - a chorus of birds, butterflies, bats but also, make us happier but also actively contribute to cool the surroundings, purify the air, capture water and more. 


Ecosystem Service Performance of the site compared with a built-up suburb based on ESII tool. 

Queen Street Tower, Brisbane, Australia

We conducted GreenStar Ecological Value Calculations, Biophilia Assessments and Ecosystem Service Assessments for 443 Queen Street, Brisbane Tower, Australia. The assessments showed that the greenery of this tower performs 100 - 5510% better than the performance of a typical built-up suburb in Brisbane. 


Ecosystem services improvement between current & proposed design based on ESII tool. Photo: NUS ISD Studio

Sungei Kadut Industrial Estate, Singapore

Working with National University of Singapore ISD urban design program, we redesigned Sungei Kadut - one of the oldest industrial estates in Singapore slated for redevelopment into a key manufacturing centre. We reimagined the estate as a next-generation industrial park where natural ecosystems work in a sustainable and symbiotic manner with the industries and mixed-use commercial and residential spaces. Surrounded by natural assets, increasing the size, quality and connectivity of green spaces improved the ecology of the district while also showing substantial improvement in ecosystem services.

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Training Workshops in Singapore and Malaysia

We train professionals with the skills to practice biomimicry in the region. This includes conducting biomimicry design workshops such as at the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, National Parks Board in Singapore, to teachers at the Ministry of Education in Singapore (above). For a deeper immersion, we also teach at the semester-long Masters' level Nature & Architecture studio at  Taylors University in Kuala Lumpur. Learnings include understanding biomimicry design methodology, case studies and applications to urban design.