Bridging people and nature

10 Aug 2014

When designing Henderson Waves, the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, the steepest points were selected to start and end it.

“The intent was to put the visitor on a path of sudden trajectory out from the dense, enclosed forest into a vast open in the air. This gives a dramatic and cinematic experience. When people board the bridge, there is a sense of excitement and heightened awareness as they appreciate the precious greenery we have,” says Lawrence Ler, RSP Senior Associate Architect on the landmark bridge in Singapore that has been bringing people and nature together in a unique way.

The 2012 special edition of A+U magazine, "Capital City for Vertical Green" focused on Singapore’s evolving urban landscape, past, present and future. Henderson Waves was featured as one of the key projects.

Singapore’s urban planners have earlier on planned for Henderson Waves and other walkways to link up parks and other attractions as part of a 9 kilometre Southern Ridges in the south of Singapore so that green spaces are expanded and more can experience nature.

The design for Henderson Waves was a winning entry from an international competition and has since become a landmark and destination by itself.

Designing for people

Lawrence Ler was one of the key architects involved in the project. The starting point of designing the bridge was the desire to create a natural form made of natural materials, shared Lawrence. He added: “We explored a parametric surface design for Henderson Waves in order to find an ideal form that would fit into the natural environment and at the same time, ensure a buildable yet cost-effective structure that minimised the environmental footprint on the site…through this process, art, architecture and engineering were married in a seamless way.”

On the most important aspect of the project, Lawrence said: “We were able to design something for the people and community to enjoy. We have features that cater to everyone – the young, the old, the parent with stroller, the person with disability.”