Nature. Nuture. Future

Nature. Nuture. Future

Like an oasis within the desert, the Singapore Pavilion situated within the sustainability district of World Expo 2020 Dubai, greets visitors with its lush greenery. The Singapore Pavilion was envisioned and designed by WOHA to encapsulate the challenges Singapore faces and overcomes as a small city-state, while the landscape design was done by Salad Dressing Architects. The challenge for Light Collab as the lighting designer was to ensure that the lighting scheme not only provides the functional lighting, but also ambient and scenic lighting for different settings. The lighting design should complement the overall scheme of the Singapore Pavilion within the desert.

Reimagining Architectural, horticulture and entertainment lighting — an experimential lighting narrative evoking the spirit of the forest

The lighting design concepts extends beyond human-centric by encompassing life. The lighting concept aims also to support not just for the human experience, but also considering lighting for plants, in hopes to provide aspirations for the people and future.

For this project, we have explored how the lighting concept and design not just supports life, plant life, but also inspires new ideas. Light Collab sought to share the story of the regenerative quality of nature and light through natural and artificial lighting.

At the pavilion, visitors can embark on a journey up the ramp to enjoy the scenery of the rainforest with different experiences throughout the day.

In the day, visitors will experience the feeling of entering a rainforest, with daylight rays filtering through the forest while meandering through the cones. At night, the ambience of the rainforest contrasts to the ambience during the day.

To create an immersive biophilic walking experience within the green oasis that turns enchanting at night, visitors will enter an environment that encourages the regeneration of the forest. The intent for the night scenography was to evoke the spirit of the forest by revealing the spectrum of light which is specific for the growth of the plants. With the use of grow lights, these spectrums of light were elevated, prior to being camouflaged in the daylight.

Following the pathways meandering into nature, concealed lighting served as the guiding light, gently illuminating the way forward. The layers of grow lights above the hanging gardens supported the plants’ growth and doubled up as a layer for environmental lighting, creating a layer of “sky”. Grow lights in narrow beams also supported the growth of the plants on the cones. The grow lights were also carefully tuned to serve two purposes: 1. To help support plant growth with high photosynthetic photon flux output 2. Doubling up as archi-entertainment lighting with special colours for an immersive biophilic environment, highlighting different parts of nature.

We made the conscious decision to use the grow lights mainly in areas where daylight is less sufficient. Another rationale for the use of grow lights is to have a balance between the needs of the people and the needs of plants, while also transforming the pavilion into another realm at night.

In the daytime and early evenings, the environment in the Pavilion appeared to be a natural one, with warm colour tones, but gradually transits to various modes to reveal different spectrums of light in the spirit of the forest and the lighting scenes. Fibre optics were also further deployed to create luminous fireflies in the experience. Additional landscape lighting further supported the overall lighting to enhance various features such as water features, trees and other parts of nature

As the main theme of the Singapore Pavilion was on sustainability, we designed with net-zero energy footprint and zero waste in mind. We have worked very closely with the architects in ensuring that all design elements were in sync, achieving a seamless outcome for difficult details, such as the curved handrail lighting used with a continuous LED strip. Studies on the sun’s path were done and solar tubes were introduced to reduce the demands on artificial lighting.

Visitors to the Pavilion also caught a special bio morphosis 3-minute light show, which was presented periodically every hour where all components of the landscape lighting come together to elevate the breathing rhythm of nature and a celebration of life.

“The imagery of a quiet night comes to mind, as one is about to drift to sleep, they feel nature calling out to them, beckoning to come closer, to find and explore itself. As if being controlled by the pied piper – they were led into the forest barefooted as they are being drawn in. The forest seemingly looks alive, and they find themselves fascinated at the scene before them.”

The light scenes comprise of six colour themes, which are also used during the light show to create transitions, pulsations, and drawing people into the heartbeat of the living forest. Having an overarching concept idea formulated at the beginning of the project, the finetuned concept storyline of the light show was brainstormed upon listening to the final version of music received from the composer.


Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore


WOHA Architects

Landscape Architect:

Salad Dressing


Patrick Birmingham-Hall
Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore


Dubai, UAE

Year Of Completion



Singapore President's Award 2023 - Design of the Year
LIT Awards 2021- Best Landscape Lighting
LIT Awards 2021- Visitor Experience & Museum Exhibition

Project Category