MILE-A-MINUTE - ALEXANDRA ARCH & FOREST WALKEdit profile
MILE-A-MINUTE - ALEXANDRA ARCH & FOREST WALK 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.