Come 2023, a new resort experience will open to guests at Mandai, bringing them closer to nature through a biophilic design that integrates the buildings with their natural surroundings. Owned by Mandai Park Holdings, the design of the new Mandai resort will be helmed by local architectural firm, WOW Architects.
The 4.6-hectare site for the 338-room resort currently houses the Singapore Zoo’s back-of-house facilities. The resort will be carefully integrated into the site, which will be enriched through the planting of native tree species. Visitors will feel immersed in the surrounding nature, which they will be encouraged to enjoy in a non-intrusive manner.
WOW Architects’ concept is sympathetic to the existing vegetation and treelines as well as natural topography. Wherever possible, the resort is elevated several metres above the ground to allow native wildlife to move across the site. It is also designed to be unobtrusive, sitting below the upper canopy layer of the surrounding trees. In addition to extensive planting at the roof and facade of the resort buildings, more than half the trees on the site will be retained, of which 40 percent are of conservation value. The re-greening effort will enhance the site’s biodiversity through thoughtful planting strategies that will both promote native species on the site of the resort and double the number of trees from today.
In line with this theme of celebrating nature, the resort’s standard and family rooms will offer views into the rainforest. 24 elevated treehouses are being designed in the shape of seed-pods and will be set amongst the trees surrounding the resort.
Aiming to be the first Super Low Energy (SLE) resort in Singapore, active steps will be taken to adopt sustainable and environmentally-friendly best practices. The design will incorporate a host of energy saving measures including the use of natural ventilation, mixed mode air-conditioning and solar panels. The treehouses will also feature passive displacement ventilation, a solution that cools air using chilled water rather than traditional air conditioning compressor units.
As the lead design architect, WOW Architects will be working alongside a team of specialist consultancies to ensure the sustainable design and development of the resort. The consultancies involved are Atelier Ten (Environmental Sustainability Design), Arup (Mechanical & Electrical), Bo Steiber (Lighting), Ramboll Environ (Ecology), Ramboll Studio Drieseitl (Landscape Architect), Warner Wong Design (Interior Design) and Web Structures (Structural Engineers).
A working group consisting of academics and professionals will also provide guidance and expert inputs across a variety of functions that are relevant to the resort’s design and development including landscape, education, sustainability, ecology, horticulture and acoustics.