Less-manicured campus greenery


1.295802, 103.770152, National University of Singapore, adjacent VENTUS building, Singapore

Year of completion: 

2010 – 2017


Design and Research: Yun Hye HWANG (PI), Zi En Jonathan YUE (RA), Yit Chuan TAN (RA), Construction: BLG Construction & Services Pte Ltd, Management: Office of Facilities Management, NUS

Project Description: 

The project ‘Less-maintained and high-diverse campus greenery in Singapore’ consists of two landscape typologies; 1) ‘Naturalized garden’ is located in a gently sloped lawn in front of the Office of Facilities Management building, NUS main campus; 2) ‘Wild green roof as a local habitat’ is situated on the roof of the School of Design and Environment building, NUS main campus. The building is at the western entrance of the campus.

The project is a prime showcase of alternative landscape that allows spontaneous plants to overgrow the existing monotonous campus lawn with minimum design interventions. This is a rare type of landscape to find in Singapore, where the majority of urban greenery has been highly tamed with intensive maintenance regimes. Taking advantage of an equatorial territory, the project demonstrates that even a small piece of land can accommodate a variety of flora and fauna, while serving as part of an ecological network that connects between a woodland park and a secondary forest. In addition, the project has become an essential educational asset, providing biological knowledge, and enhancing human connectedness to nature. At a time when the notion of urban greenery goes beyond superficial greening, the garden becomes the impetus to initiate less-maintained and highly-diverse management regimes leading to ecological sustainability throughout the campus.

Site plan and photo of ‘Naturalized garden’ (left) and ‘Wild green roof’ (right).

Planning, construction, and management timelines of ‘Naturalized garden’

Before and after photos of research plots. The plots have been transformed into gardens.

Images of the green roof in 2012 (top) and 2014 (bottom).

The wild green roof has the potential to serve as a wildlife stepping stone.

Biodiversity diagrams: 49 fauna and 51 flora in the garden have been observed in 2012.

Biodiversity diagrams: 69 fauna and 59 flora in the roof have been observed in 2014.

Organic matter and Nitrogen level were increased and the surface temperature became 4c degree lower than the surrounding lawns.

Letter of support from the NUS management office (left). Published surveys, monitoring reports, and guidelines (right).

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