Media Resouces
Mapletree showcases repurposed timber benches, champions sustainability through innovative student engagement
08 Mar 2024

SINGAPORE - Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree” or “the Group”) proudly showcased two repurposed timber benches at its business park Mapletree Business City (“MBC”) on 23 February 2024. The event marks the culmination of a successful collaboration with students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (“SUTD”) who had transformed salvaged materials for this project. This initiative underscores Mapletree’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The transformed benches were the result of timber planks harvested when Mapletree re-decked the Sky Park of VivoCity in 2016, and Mapletree’s support of S$102,000 to SUTD.

The engagement session celebrated the hard work and creativity of a team of SUTD students, who dedicated themselves to breathing new life into these timber planks. Under the guidance of then Assistant Professor Michael Budig of Faculty of Architecture and Sustainable Design at SUTD, the timber planks were carefully prepared for repurposing through a meticulous de-nailing, treatment and storage process. They were transformed into exquisite, functional benches bearing the mark of innovation and sustainability. In addition, incorporating high-performance carbon fibres into the timber planks enhances the structural integrity and longevity of the benches, ensuring their durability for years to come.

Mr Edmund Cheng, Mapletree’s Chairman, said: “Our collaboration with students is guided by two of our Corporate Social Responsibility pillars – environment and education. This initiative instils a sense of ownership towards the benches for the students, and the hands-on engagement fosters a circular mindset among the younger generation, emphasising the value of preserving resources and minimising waste.”

Professor Tai Lee Siang, Head of Pillar, ASD, SUTD, said: “The design of a bench may look humble, however, the science, passion and creativity injected are by no means trivial. The result is beautiful in its simplicity, leaving a lasting impression. Most importantly, a design must have a purpose. This beautiful bench carries the weight of its users on its shoulders with quietness and confidence, fully embodying the design philosophy of SUTD in more ways than one.”

By repurposing these timber planks, the Group did not have to source for virgin wood, thus minimising Mapletree’s environmental footprint. 

The first bench, “Tiny Threads and Massive Blocks”1was installed at MBC in 2018, while the second bench, “Re: Wood Bloom”2was installed in 2022. The benches serve not only as functional pieces of furniture for public use but also as symbols of Mapletree’s collective responsibility to protect and preserve the environment for future generations.

1Tiny Threads and Massive Blocks challenges preconceived notions of weight and stability while balancing old and new techniques and materials. The main body is an amalgam of reclaimed wood planks robotically carved to provide a seating surface.

2 Re:Wood Bloom features a simple, centre-supported beam with two cantilevering parts towards the ends. The innovative mix of wood with carbon fibres enhances the strength of a massive timber block.

Photo credits: Mapletree Investments

(From left to right) SUTD Alumni Lester Lim & Grace Sim; Assistant Professor Michael Budig, ASD, SUTD; Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman, Mapletree; Professor Tai Lee Siang, Head of Pillar, ASD, SUTD; Associate Professor Carlos Banon, ASD, SUTD; Mr Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Mapletree; Ms Noelle Yeo, Senior Manager, Advancement Office, SUTD at MBC on 23 February 2024 to mark the successful conclusion of the collaboration between Mapletree and SUTD


Management of Mapletree viewed the wooden benches at Mapletree Business City together with faculty, alumni and undergraduates of SUTD




Natalie Tong

Xabryna Kek
Senior Executive, Corporate Social Responsibility

Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications
Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6807 4045
Tel: (65) 6377 4608


About Mapletree

Headquartered in Singapore, Mapletree is a global real estate development, investment, capital and property management company committed to sustainability. Its strategic focus is to invest in markets and real estate sectors with good growth potential. By combining its key strengths, the Group has established a track record of award-winning projects, and delivers consistent and high returns across real estate asset classes.

The Group manages three Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and eight private equity real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in Asia Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom (“UK”) and the United States (“US”). As at 31 March 2023, Mapletree owns and manages S$77.4 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, data centre, residential and student accommodation properties. 

The Group’s assets are located across 13 markets globally, namely Singapore, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the UK, the US and Vietnam. To support its global operations, Mapletree has established an extensive network of offices in these countries.

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