Alexandra Arch & Forest Walk
Alexandra arch & forest walk design by LOOK Architects for Comprising a 80-metre long pedestrian bridge over Alexandra Road and a 1.6-kilometre long elevated pedestrian walkway connecting to Telok Blangah Hill Park, Alexandra Arch & Forest Walk enables barrier-free public access into the treasury of natural heritage at the Southern Ridges.
Comprising a 1.6 kilometre elevated pedestrian walkway beginning from Telok Blangah Hill Park and a 80 metre long bridge over Alexandra Road, Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk has opened a portal to the treasury of natural heritage in Singapore. Bringing to life the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s vision of linking up the 9 kilometre rolling expanse of the Southern Ridges – consisting of Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill and Kent Ridge – Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk is key to an uninterrupted network of pedestrian linkages for the public to enjoy convenient access to nature.
Straddling a threshold between urban bustle and the tranquillity of nature, the sweeping form of Alexandra Arch alluringly beckons at the onlooker to cross the gateway into a sanctuary of calm repose. The rib armature of Alexandra Arch asserts a structural dynamism in the day, but metamorphoses with nightfall into a dematerialised sculpture of light. A highly sophisticated and succinct tectonic can be seen from the way the steel arch sailing overhead counterbalances the pedestrian deck that arcs in the opposite direction below. Rising about 7 metres above Alexandra Road, the curving deck of the bridge also introduces a gradual passage of transition into the adjoining Forest Walk.
Visitors embark on a titillating journey of exploration through sinuous topography as elevated walkways of the Forest Walk deftly traverse hilly terrain, and one would be delighted by breath-taking views of the city and waterfront that sporadically rupture into the foreground. Visitors would be spoilt for choice by the varied range of experiences – raised walkways brushing the tops of tree canopies offer a bird’s eye view of the secondary forest, whilst ground-level earth trails allow one to have a candid encounter with wildlife thriving on the forest floor. Metaphorical allusions to the “mile-a-minute” plant – an inspiration for its expeditious growth, and which is distinguished by its unique equilateral triangle-shaped leaves – find an intriguing translation in the form of tessellated prefabricated metal decking modules that constitute the walkways.
A thorough demonstration of socially responsible barrier-free design undeterred by the challenges posed by the treacherous site topography, Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk manifests the project team’s enterprising aspiration to provide the physically less abled with an equal opportunity to enjoy nature.
Alexandra Arch is an 80-metre (260 ft) long bridge that features a curved deck and tilted arch like an opened leaf, connecting Alexandra Road, Singapore and Hyderabad Road. It was designed by Buro Happold with LOOK Architects. The Gillman Village, which was a former British military camp in the early 20th century, now houses a mixture of restaurants, pubs and art galleries. Like the Henderson Waves bridge, Alexandra Arch will be lit with colour-changing LED lamps. At the end of the Alexandra Arch, there is a path lined with flowering plants which leads to the HortPark.
Forest Walk is a 1.3-kilometre (0.81 mi) long walkway that cuts through about 50 metres (160 ft) through the secondary forest in Telok Blangah Hill Park and connects to Alexandra Arch. The raised walkway with heights ranging from 3 metres (9.8 ft) to 18 metres (59 ft) brushes the canopy of trees and offers a bird’s-eye view of the forest. The Forest Walk also connects to the Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk, also leading walkers to the Labrador Park MRT Station and Labrador Park.
Project name: Alexandra Arch & Forest Walk
Location: Alexandra Road, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Southern Ridges, Singapore
Type: Pedestrian / Street, Public Facilities, Public Space, ViewPoint
Site Area: 95,470 sqm
Completion Year: 2008
- 2009 World Architecture Festival Award – Shortlisted – Landscape Category
- 2009 World Architecture Festival Award – Finalist – Under the Landscape and Structure Category
- 2009 The International Architecture Awards – The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum Of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
- 2007 Structural Steel Design Award Singapore 2007 – Certificate of Commendation – for Distinguished Use of Structural Steel for its Creativity, Value and Innovation in recognition of the project (Alexandra Link Bridge)
Client / Owner / Developer: Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore
Landscape Architects: LOOK Architects, Singapore
Principal Designer: Look Boon Gee
Project Architect: Sor Hiang NG
Lighting Consultant: Lighting Planners Associates Inc
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: HY M&E Consultancy Services Pte Ltd
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold Pte Ltd, ECAS-EJ Consultants Pte Ltd
Civil & Structural Engineer: Ecas-EJ Consultants Pte Ltd, Buro Happold (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: JIA Quantity Surveyors & Project Managers Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: CKT Thomas Pte Ltd
Steel Specialist: Yong Nam Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd
Text Description: © Courtesy of LOOK Architects
Images: © LOOK Architects