Shangri-La's Orchid reaches for the sky

The 7m-tall open-air greenhouse, called The Orchid, is created using three- dimensional beams, curving upwards towards the sky, surrounded by orchid beds in the shape of petals.
The 7m-tall open-air greenhouse, called The Orchid, is created using three- dimensional beams, curving upwards towards the sky, surrounded by orchid beds in the shape of petals.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

More than 600 orchids took the spotlight at Shangri-La Hotel's new greenhouse, which was launched during the hotel's 45th-anniversary celebration.

Called The Orchid, the 7m-tall open-air greenhouse adds to the hotel's existing Orchid Walk.

"With our big gardens and the many plants and flowers here, we wanted to strengthen that and build something remarkably unique to us and Singapore," said Mr Reto Klauser, vice-president and general manager of the hotel.

The varieties in the greenhouse include 25 species of orchids, all Singaporean hybrids, including a Dendrobium that was named by Shangri-La Hotel at its 35th anniversary, and Singapore's national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.

The Orchid is designed by Tierra, an urban, architecture and landscape design company, and built to look like the bud of an orchid.

The greenhouse was created using three-dimensional beams, curving upwards towards the sky, surrounded by orchid beds in the shape of petals.

"The Orchid represents change, diversity and beauty. It couldn't be ordinary. We had to do something never done before here in Singapore," said Mr Franklin Po, founding principal and creative director of Tierra .

Twenty-four guests attended the launch of the greenhouse on Tuesday, including guests of honour Peggy Tan, immediate past president of the Orchid Society of South-east Asia, and Mark Shaw, chairman of the Orchard Road Business Association. "The Orchid is by far one of the best orchid greenhouses in South-east Asia. Nothing can compare. It's in a class of its own," said Ms Tan.

Hotel guests will not only be able to admire the orchids but also sign up for daily special activities such as painting sessions and a guided drone flight session. They can also make a reservation for Dîner De Fleurs - a private dinner for two to six guests inside The Orchid.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2016, with the headline 'Shangri-La's Orchid reaches for the sky'. Print Edition | Subscribe