Engineering Floral Fantasy – Infusing Tech and Art to a Horticultural Oasis

Gardens by the Bay was seeking a fresh attraction concept that would extend their offerings at the new Bayfront Plaza area and provide novel visitor experiences.

Engineering Floral Fantasy – Infusing tech and art to a horticultural oasis

Gardens by the Bay was seeking a fresh attraction concept that would extend their offerings at the new Bayfront Plaza area and provide novel visitor experiences

Launched in April 2019, Floral Fantasy is Gardens by the Bay’s latest thematic attraction, where flowers, artistry and technology come together to create a fantastical experience for visitors. There are four diverse garden landscapes – Dance, Float, Waltz and Drift, each showcasing a different artistic concept.

Says Gardens by the Bay’s Senior Director of Engineering Mr Andy Kwek, “In collaboration with ST Engineering, we developed three distinctive installations that combine Gardens by the Bay’s strengths in horticulture and garden artistry with ST Engineering’s technology expertise, bringing unique, multi-sensorial experiences to visitors of Floral Fantasy.”

The project started in December 2017 and took the team one year to translate the design from concept to reality.

Kinetic Floral Display

Like the proverbial Alice, visitors stepping across the threshold into Dance find themselves immersed in a floral wonderland. The rhythmic dance of pendulous floral balls captures one’s attention as they bob up and down, accompanied by the strains of lilting music.

Designing the Kinetic Floral Display was a tricky process that required countless iterations to create eight different dance patterns. The kinetic system comprises a network of 64 winches. Each floral cluster had to be of the same weight so that they would ascend and descend uniformly.

“Every winch accommodates up to 10kg and is controlled by a software programme. We spent months with the horticulturalists to determine which flowers worked best, and programming the motion sequence to achieve the desired effect,” says Mr Dennis Neo, the Project Manager from Training & Simulation Systems, ST Engineering’s electronics sector.

Rain Curtain

As visitors stroll past indoor streams towards Waltz, a series of water features ensconced by driftwood structures greets them. Mimicking the waterfalls of the rainforest, eight Rain Curtains gush into interconnected pools of water. During the evenings, the rain curtains are lit up in a multitude of colour, accented by visuals that appear via the streams of water. The nozzles of these rain curtains act like an inkjet printer, controlling and timing spurts of water that magically display text, logos or patterns through the sheet of water.

Flight of the Dragonfly

The visitor experience at the Floral Fantasy culminates in the Flight of the Dragonfly, a 4D multi-sensorial ride. The show was conceptualised, produced and developed by ST Engineering. We worked in tandem with vendors to install and programme the motion seats and 4D effects systems to ensure that they synchronised well with the show’s storyline.

Mr Barry Wong, Vice President of Training & Simulation Systems, Electronics, ST Engineering shares, “Flight of the Dragonfly” aims to give visitors an experiential preview of the attractions in the gardens through the perspective of a dragonfly. We experimented with the 4D effects such as motion, ticklers, fog, water spray, and synced them with the action on the screen to captivate and delight the audience’s senses.”

Our filming process achieved a noteworthy first in Asia for a stereoscopic simulation ride. To capture the stereoscopic effects in high resolution, the team activated a 1.35m wingspan multi-rotor drone carrying two 6K resolution cameras to film the attractions.

In addition to the visual and sensory feast, the audience can also look forward to the original soundtrack composed by Singaporean composer, Mr Alex Oh.

“We had a fantastic working experience with Alex. Being a seasoned composer adept at telling stories through his music, Alex has worked on several movie productions. He was able to capture the essence of “The Flight of the Dragonfly” through his composition, music arrangement, and directed the orchestra recording with his counterparts in Sofia, Bulgaria, a team of 13 orchestra members including the conductor. ” says Creative Director, Mr Lucas Tng.

“Floral Fantasy was made possible by the passion and determination from our dedicated team that includes project managers, engineers, drone camera crew, animators, 3D modellers and special effects specialists. We are proud to have had this opportunity to work with Gardens by the Bay on this iconic project,” concludes Mr Barry Wong.

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