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. The design of the new Mandai resort will be helmed by local architectural firm, WOW Architects.
Speaking on the appointment of WOW Architects, Mr Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) said, “WOW Architects’ concept demonstrated the best design response to our brief, one that will bring our guests closer to nature. We have brought together the strengths of two homegrown brands, WOW Architects and Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts. We are confident that they will be able to translate our vision into the design and operations for our new resort. Through carefully crafted design features and programmed activities, the Mandai resort experience will encourage guests to be conscious of and care for the plants and animals in the surrounding rainforest. This is consistent with our core belief that we must all work together to protect wildlife.”
Design features for a ‘Conscious Stay’
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.
“We are excited to be part of a project that aims to be an exemplary showcase of sustainable development practices”, said Mr Wong Chiu Man, Managing Director, WOW Architects. “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. 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. When completed, the building and the landscape will become a holistic, immersive experience.”
WOW Architects’ concept is mindful of 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 façade of the resort buildings, more than half the trees on the site will be retained, of which 40% 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.
Guest education and programming for a ‘Conscious Stay’
The resort will actively engage guests to promote environmental awareness, sustainable best practices and the conservation of biodiversity. For example, guests will be encouraged to reduce energy and water consumption in their rooms, practice recycling, dispose their food waste responsibly, and be respectful of the surrounding flora and fauna.
At the doorstep of the resort will be all the wildlife parks and nature-themed indoor attractions where the guests will be able to enjoy a specially curated programme of activities, including behind-the-scenes programmes, guided nature walks and hand-on activities. These activities will promote a conscious way of life, one that is more in harmony with the natural world.
Resort Operations for a ‘Conscious Stay’
Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings said, “The future Mandai Wildlife District is designed to provide unprecedented yet sensitive access to nature for people from all walks of life. As like-minded partners, Banyan Tree is aligned with MPH’s mission and focus in wildlife conservation and education. Celebrating and championing 25 years of sustainable development, Banyan Tree has pioneered the journey of stewardship in its commitment towards the environment and communities through our philosophy of ‘Embracing the Environment, Empowering People’. Steeped in our signature Asian hospitality, we look forward to creating authentic accommodation experiences, and operating in this unique eco-sensitive setting to highlight and inspire active guest participations into resort sustainability efforts at Mandai.”
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.
Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ Curated List of Wellness Degustation Set Menus/Culinary Highlights for Top 3 Set Menus from China and Top 25 Dishes from Other Regions Worldwide
Angsana Xi’an Lintong (Imperial Charms of Two Cities)
- Purple Fortune (Pig crisp bone, sweet potato, spinach, rib sauce, seafood sauce)
- Braised Beef Tendon Soup with Chrysanthemum & Radish (Beef tendon, radish)
- Nourishing Thousand Layer Chicken Rolls (Chicken leg meat, mushroom, celery, corn, soybean)
- Yangling Kiwi Pork Ribs (Pork ribs, kiwi fruit)
- Li Mountain Wild Vegetables Platter (Local Li Mountain wild vegetables, native egg, feather vegetables)
- Guanzhong Golden Belt Noodles (Wild rice, millet, spinach, carrot)
- Tang Handmade Red Date Paste (Red dates, walnut)
Angsana Zhuhai Phoenix Bay (Wood Element)
- Braised Mixed Mushrooms (Mixed mushrooms, vegetable wrap)
- Stewed Chicken with Tofu Soup (Chicken, tofu, mushroom)
- Braised Shrimp Balls with Kumquat Walnut Sauce (Shrimp, kumquat, walnut, honey)
- Steamed Rice with Coarse Cereals & Abalone (Coarse cereals, bean food, abalone)
- Nostoc Sphaeroids Kutz Stewed Peach Resin with Nyonya Cake & Fresh Fruit (Vanilla leaves, coconut milk, fresh fruit)
Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei (Spirit of Nature)
- Marinated Organic Cherry Tomatoes with Wild Honey Black Fungus Puree & Balsamic Reduction (Cherry tomatoes, wild honey, black fungus, balsamic reduction, olive oil, mint leaves)
- Mountain Spring, Fresh Tiger Ginger Soup (Old duck, fresh tiger ginger, pickled radish, Jinyun Mountain spring water)
- Jinyun Mountain Sweet Tea Egg (Sweet tea hot spring farm egg with salmon roe)
- River Fish (Steamed Chengjiang River fish mousse, bamboo fungus cap, fresh ginko nut, organic vegetables)
- Houttuynia (Garden fresh longan, houttuynia root, sugarcane, soy pudding cake)
Banyan Tree Macau
- Deconstructed Portuguese Egg Tart (Coconut milk, Pandan extract, sour meringue) – Dessert
- Mango & Beetroot Panna Cotta (Mixed berries, mango coulis) – Dessert
Banyan Tree Bintan
- Vide Corn Fed Chicken Ballotine (Organic farm vegetables, broccoli, quinoa salad, pistachio and herb crusted, chicken jus) – Main
- Oven baked stuffed field mushroom (Onion, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant, feta cheese, rocket salad) – Starter
Banyan Tree Ungasan
- Lobster Lodeh (Indonesian-style lobster bisque, ballotine of batik lobster, coconut foam) – Starter
- Ikan Sambal Matah (Coconut husk smoked fresh line-caught “barramundi”, shallot and lemongrass relish, kesuna cekuh hollaindaise, ginger pumpkin puree, cabbage) – Main
- Klappertaart (Strawberry brittle, caramelised banana, key lime, brem raisin) – Dessert
Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
- Oxtail Broth (Julienne of local leaves, asam pedas espuma, oxtail mousse) – Starter
- Santa Maria Grilled Kampung Chicken Breast (Ginger and chive oil, carrot and cauliflower puree, roasted cocktail potatoes) – Main
- Grilled Golden Crown Pineapple (Coconut sorbet, chocolate tuile) – Dessert
Banyan Tree Phuket
- Soused King Mackerel, Dill & Cucumber (Mackerel, dill, cucumber, lemon, white vinegar, coriander seeds) – Starter
- Mango & Passion Fruit (Mango puree, gelatin sheets, passion fruit juice, mint leaves, foraged flowers) – Dessert
Angsana Laguna Phuket
- Som Tam Ponlamai Bua Luang (Spicy mixed fruit salad, dry shrimp, sting bean, tomatoes, peanut) – Starter
Banyan Tree Bangkok
- Tuna Black & Blue (Jackfruit carnitas, cauliflower popcorn, jalapeno pesto) – Main
- Dragon Fruit Pudding (Walnuts, berries, pomegranate, chia) – Dessert
Banyan Tree Samui
- Coconut Cake Ball (Lemon crème fraiche, coconut ice cream)
Banyan Tree Lang Co
- Lang Co Seafood Soup (Prawn, squid, clam, sea bass, red tomato, pineapple, okra, peppermint) – Starter
- Steamed Prawn with Coconut (Prawns, young coconut, sliced red chilli, coconut juice, lime) – Main
Angsana Lang Co
- Sauteed Chicken with Lemongrass and Chilli (Chicken leg, spring onion, lemongrass, fish sauce) – Main
- Lotus Sweet Soup (Fresh lotus seed, vanilla or jasmine flower, Vietnamese lychee) – Dessert
- Detox Fish Curry (Grilled sea bass with garden vegetables, coriander, basil, detox curry) – Main
Banyan Tree Cabo Marques
- Beetroot Tartar (Cilantro, avocado mousse, lemon, aged balsamic vinegar) – Starter
- Roasted Potato Pancake (Mashed potatoes, roasted garlic, olive oil) – Main
Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay
- Seabass (Seabass, carrot, ginger, lemon confit, orange juice) – Starter
- Chicken Medallion (Chicken leg, chicken breast, mushroom, pumpkin, demi-glace sauce, carrot, celery, orange, grapefruit, egg white) – Main