WOW Architects has designed an eco-friendly resort that intends to blur the boundaries between nature and living spaces.

Guided by the principles of biophilic design, it features 24 seed pod-shaped treehouses with views out to the surrounding rainforest.

The resort is set to open in Singapore‘s Mandai area in 2023, encouraging visitors to enjoy the surrounding wildlife in a non intrusive manner.

The 338-room resort, which features rooms with views out to the surrounding rainforest, is being integrated into a 4.6 hectare site that currently houses the Singapore Zoo’s back-of-house facilities.

Biophilic design is a response to the human need for an experience of the natural world in the built environment, through use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. It is thought to reduce stress, enhance creativity, and improve overall well-being.

In line with this ethos, WOW Architects has come up with a concept that is sympathetic to the existing vegetation.

Where possible, the resort will be elevated several meters above the ground, allowing native wildlife to move across the site. it will sit below the upper canopy layer of the surrounding trees.

‘Our building and its systems adopt a biophilic attitude, by blending into nature and becoming part of it, while creating an engaging and comfortable environment for the guests,’ explains Wong Chiu Man, managing director, WOW Architects.

‘The resort was designed with the native flora and fauna as inspiration, and the architecture and interior design will showcase the biodiversity of mandai for guests to appreciate and learn from,’ he adds. ‘When completed, the building and the landscape will become a holistic, immersive experience.’

The new resort is located in the mMandai area of Singapore, which is famously known for being the access point of the Singapore Zoo and night safari.

It forms part of the Mandai Rejuvenation Project, a longterm development to turn the precinct into an integrated nature and wildlife destination.

During construction, native tree species will be planted as part of a re-greening effort, which hopes to enrich the site by enhancing its biodiversity. more than half the trees already on the site will be retained, of which 40% are of conservation value.

The resort aims to be the first super low energy (SLE) of its kind in Singapore and will incorporate various energy saving measures.

The design will feature natural ventilation, mixed mode air-conditioning and solar panels. Treehouses will feature passive displacement ventilation, a solution that cools air using chilled water rather than traditional air conditioning compressor units.

Described by the resort as a ‘conscious stay’, guests will be encouraged to reduce energy and water consumption in their rooms, to practice recycling, to dispose their food waste responsibly, and be respectful of the surrounding flora and fauna. M

eanwhile, a programme of activities on offer will include behind-the-scenes programmes, guided nature walks and hand-on activities.

WOWArchitects are in charge of the resort’s design in partnership with homegrown luxury hotel chain Banyan Tree Holdings Limited.

The Singapore-based firm will be collaborating with a team of specialist consultancies to ensure the sustainable design and development of the resort.

A working group of academics and professionals will also be providing their expertise across various functions relevant to the design and development process including landscape, education, sustainability, ecology, horticulture and acoustics.