Rifle Range Nature Park: Reviving a former quarry into a green buffer

Landscape, Online Exclusive Feature / 2024

Rifle Range Nature Park: Reviving a former quarry into a green buffer

June 26, 2024

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the last remaining primary forests in Singapore, is under threat from development and human activity. To serve as a green buffer, the Rifle Range Nature Park was designed to protect the reserve from edge effects and abutting developments as well as enhance ecological connectivity and providing complementary habitats.

Located at the site of the former Sin Seng Quarry that had been abandoned for 30 years, the landscape had poor soil conditions and overgrown scrub vegetation. Because of this, one of the project’s main objectives was enhancing biodiversity. A comprehensive nine-month baseline study on plant and animal life was conducted to strategise plantings that can improve soil quality, attract fauna and facilitate the park’s transition to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

A significant issue was surfaced through the study: the high numbers of roadkill along Rifle Range Road, where wildlife sought food. To protect the diverse and endangered wildlife, the design established safe routes in the form of culvert and arboreal crossings, including aerial rope bridges and nest boxes. These connections allow wildlife to safely access the park and extend to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, while also enabling visitors to observe animal life up close in their natural habitat.

Water management, crucial for ecosystem revival, was also central to the nature park’s design, which features a freshwater habitat restored from a backfilled quarry, widened streams, and water-sensitive elements like swales and raingardens that can support natural irrigation.

The park design has revived the area by restoring its natural forest and wetland habitat, integrating water-sensitive solutions, fauna protection, heritage conservation and inviting visitors into an engaging natural environment. Today, the area has a variety of nature trails that span over 7 kilometres in total, as well as being home to a diverse range of flora and fauna such as the critically endangered Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica), and the Horsfield’s Flying Squirrel (Lomys horsfieldii).

Rifle Range Nature Park is also the first net-positive energy nature park in Singapore, with the energy harvested from the photovoltaic solar panels installed around the nature park exceeding the expected annual operational energy consumption of the site. Due to its comprehensive landscape strategies, the project has been named a winner in the 2024 ULI Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence for the Open Space category.


Project Name
Rifle Range Nature Park

Bukit Timah, Singapore

Completion Date

Site Area
67 hectares

National Parks Board

Architecture Firm

Landscape Architect
Henning Larsen

Finbarr Fallon

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