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Singapore University of Technology and Design

Inaugurated in 2012, Singapore University of Technology and Design formally celebrated the opening of its new campus in May. This first phase of completion includes the academic buildings, designed by UNStudio and DP Architects, as well as the student housing and sports complex, designed by LOOK Architects and Surbana International Consultants. The associate head of Architecture and Sustainable Design and a professor at the university, Thomas Schroepfer, considers how the architecture of the academic blocks stems from a critical methodology of “design models” from UNStudio and expresses the progressive curriculum of the institution.

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-06-Hufton_Crow-759x623 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

“The main aim of the design for the academic buildings of SUTD was to create a campus that celebrates both teaching and learning in an open and transparent way. The network of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal vistas within the double quadrant organisation of the campus enables professors, students, and faculty members to see, meet, and communicate with each other through a network of crossing points, presenting opportunities for continuous interaction and exchange.” – Ben van Berkel / The founding principal of UN Studio

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-07-Hufton_Crow-759x678 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

Situated on a site of 15.8 hectares, the recently completed Phase 1 provides about 106,000 square metres of building surface of the project. Besides academic buildings, the campus features faculty and student housing, a sports complex, as well as four ancient Chinese pavilions that were donated to the university by Hong Kong movie celebrity Jacky Chan.

The academic buildings of the new campus, designed by the Netherlands-based UNStudio in collaboration with DP Architects, directly reflects SUTD’s curriculum, using the creative venture of the institution to facilitate a cross-disciplinary interface; interaction is established between the professional world, the campus, and the community at large. Seeing the future of design as shaped by an activating, transparent, connective environment, the campus facilitates cross-disciplinary interaction between all its four pillars of academia. The orientation and organisation of the campus is designed through two main axes: the Living and Learning Spines, which overlap to create a central point, binding all corners of the university. These thoroughfares create a 24/7 environment of seamless connectivity, enhancing direct interaction through both proximity and transparency. In turn, an open forum of learning is established by bringing professionals, alumni, students, and faculty together to interact both on an academic and a social level.

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-09-Hufton_Crow-759x812 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

Concept and Design:

  • Connectivity: The campus is designed along two main axes for living and learning. They overlap both laterally and vertically to create a central hub while binding all corners of the campus. Additionally, the intersections between laboratories and classrooms create spaces for collaboration, connection and social engagement.
  • Sustainable Learning: An holistic approach to sustainable design was adopted to ensure that the passive building design and technologies resulted in a building that is 30% more energy efficient than a typical institutional building. The design for the SUTD campus achieved the highest Green Mark rating (Platinum) available in Singapore.
Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-13-DP-Architects-800x1200 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© DP Architects

“The Work & Campus workfield examines affinities within new ways of working and learning, and how these may affect the office and campus models of the future. Our multidisciplinary teams investigate behavioural patterns and trends at the intersection of education and employment, including accelerated learning and production, emotional economy, distance learning services and examine how technology can be implemented in a balanced way. These tendencies are examined with a focus on their effect across scales – from the individual, to the group, to the community – with a view to developing relevant, impactful new design concepts that enhance working, learning and productivity.” – UN Studio

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-16-Hufton_Crow-759x529 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow


Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-17-Hufton_Crow-759x511 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

UN Studio:

The design of the SUTD campus reflects a deep understanding of the changing requirements of learning institutions today. Connectivity, collaboration, co-creation, innovation and sociality are at the core of the non-linear design, which brings together people, ideas and innovation.

Together with Singapore-based DP Architects, we designed a 24/7 campus that encourages cross-disciplinary interaction between students, faculty and professionals. This interaction is facilitated by the incorporation of informal meeting and working spaces throughout the campus. The building’s adaptable layout promotes pedagogical flexibility and the integration of technology for future use.

The SUTD offers four key academic pillars: Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design and Information Systems Technology and Design.

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-21-DP-Architects-759x506 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© DP Architects

“The design for the SUTD consciously avoids over-articulation and instead focusses on infrastructural qualities, on connectivity and the creation of an open, transparent and light facility that responds to the requirements of the contemporary campus.” – Ben van Berkel

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-23-DP-Architects-759x506 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© DP Architects

A seamless 24/7 network of education:

  • We believe that interaction is the key to a progressive educational model. Within the SUTD campus, the faculties are distributed and overlapped through the four connecting blocks, amplifying moments of interaction between all disciplines.
  • The various programmes, such as classrooms, laboratories and meeting rooms, are connected both vertically and horizontally to promote interactivity. Both large and small communities can form as a result of the programme clusters, and the voids and staircases that link them.

Social spaces:

  • The Campus Centre forms the intellectual heart of the campus. It directly links the main programmatic anchors of the Auditorium, the International Design Centre and the University Library. Creating such a distinct anchor programme activates a natural concentration of people throughout any given day. Learning beyond the classroom: quiet niches offer moments of solitude and privacy.

Sustainable Campus:

  • The SUTD is a highly sustainable building that utilises specific design strategies to counteract the conditions of Singapore’s tropical climate. Based on orientation and wind studies, natural ventilation principles are applied alongside cooling techniques, covered walkways and louvred facade shading.
  • The overall design responds to the natural landscape of Singapore, both through colour application and the incorporation of facade planters, green roof terraces and sky gardens. Green pockets are planted with native trees and flowering plants.
Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-26-DP-Architects-759x506 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© DP Architects

DP Architects

SUTD, Singapore’s latest public funded university, is established in collaboration with MIT and offers a unique multi-disciplinary education, focusing on Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design, and Information Systems Technology and Design. DP Architects and UNStudio’s design scheme reflects SUTD’s new pedagogic model of inter-disciplinary and collaborative learning. The academic campus design offers an opportunity to embrace innovation and creativity through a non-linear connective relationship between students, faculty, professionals and the spaces they interact with.

SUTD, Singapore’s latest public funded university, is established in collaboration with MIT and offers a unique multi-disciplinary education, focusing on Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design, and Information Systems Technology and Design. DP Architects and UNStudio’s design scheme reflects SUTD’s new pedagogic model of inter-disciplinary and collaborative learning. The academic campus design offers an opportunity to embrace innovation and creativity through a non-linear connective relationship between students, faculty, professionals and the spaces they interact with.

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-30-Hufton_Crow-710x1200 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

“We believe that interaction is the key to a progressive educational model,” said Jeremy Tan, Director, DP Architects. “The campus enables open and inclusive interaction between students and faculty members from the four academic pillars, through meetings at the various collaborative spaces, such as the Campus Centre. To foster innovation, the campus needs to allow for flexible solutions to ever-changing needs, which is why meeting spaces, classrooms and laboratories can adapt to different arrangements, addressing the evolving requirements of the university as the versatile curriculum develops.”

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-32-Hufton_Crow-759x700 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

The institution’s academic facilities are connected through a seamless network of organised spaces and paths. Faculties within the SUTD campus are not housed within individual buildings, but distributed and overlapped through each block of the site. Classrooms, laboratories and meeting rooms are spread over the various connecting blocks. These help to amplify moments of interaction between disciplines. With boundaries blurred, the campus architecture becomes an incubator for communication, creativity and innovation.

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-43-Hufton_Crow-759x644 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow


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© Hufton + Crow

To support the university’s focus on sustainable design and to ensure a comfortable learning environment, environmental sustainability was built into the design for the SUTD academic campus, particularly through passive building design. Building geometries carve a wind corridor for ideal wind flow through the outdoor gathering spaces such as internal courtyards. Tree shaded walkways also serve as the external circulation route around SUTD to encourage a walkable, low carbon campus. Landscape design, with low water consuming native landscape species, weave through the external areas into the building fabric through pockets of planters along corridors and on the sky gardens and green roofs, reducing the urban heat island effect in the overall campus. Building orientation, inter-block shading as well as shading by corridors kept the building space cooling energy requirements low, while solar analysis and daylighting simulation tools were employed to achieve the ideal balance between daylighting qualities and shade to minimise heat gain from the windows. These translated into the design for effective shading devices and glass performance.

Singapore-University-of-Technology-and-Design-By-UN-Studio_DP-Architects-56-Hufton_Crow-759x376 Singapore University of Technology and Design / UN Studio + DP Architects

© Hufton + Crow

Project Data:

Project name: Singapore University of Technology and Design
Location: 8 Somapah Rd, Singapore 487372
Coordinates: 1.340644, 103.962827
Type: University
Site area: 15.8 hectares
Building Information: 

  • Building surface: Phase I: 101,000 sqm, Phase II 109,000 sqm – Total : 213,000 sqm
  • Building Height: 36.9m (above ground floor)
  • Number of Floors: 7 storeys

Floor Area:

  • Statistical Gross Floor Area: 130, 048.89 sqm
  • Gross Floor Area – Phase 1: 106, 062.99 sqm
  • Auditorium capacity: 1154
  • Lecture Theatres capacity: 532, 280

Status: Built
Completion: Phase 1 – completed 2015
Opening Date: May 8, 2015
Visit Singapore University of Technology and Design’s Website: here

Awards:

  • 2016 – Singapore Good Design Mark (SG Mark) Awards – Category: Social – SG Mark Gold

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Singapore University of Technology and Design – 8 Somapah Rd, Singapore 487372
Architects:

  • UN Studio – Stadhouderskade 113 1073 AX Amsterdam The Netherlands
  • DP Architects – 6 Raffles Boulevard #04-100 Marina Square Singapore 039594

Project Team:

  • Ben van Berkel, Christian Veddeler with Ren Yee, Andreas Bogenschütz and Astrid Piber, Jordan Trachtenberg, Kirsten Hollmann, Jeffrey Johnson, Adi Utama, Paula Ibarrondo, Christina Bolis, Ka Shin Liu, Steven Reisinger, Daniel Buzalko, Michael Sims, Chris Masicampo, Philipp Meise, Melissa Lui, Giorgia Cannici, Jacob Sanders, Richard Teeling, Nanang Santoso, Pieter Meier, Olivier Yebra, Teoman Ayas, Hajdin Dragusha

Project management: PM Link Pte Ltd, Singapore
Contractor : Kajima Overseas Asia Pte Ltd

Supporting consultants:

  • Structural/Civil: Parsons Brinckerhoff PTE, Singapore
  • M&E and Q&S: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd., Singapore
  • Landscape: Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd., Singapore
  • Facade: Arup Singapore Pte Ltd
  • Acoustics: Acviron Acoustics Consultants Pte Ltd
  • Lighting design: Lighting Planners Associates (S) Pte Ltd., Singapore
  • Quantity Surveyor: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
  • ESD Consultant: DP Sustainable Design Pte Ltd

Text Description: © Courtesy of UN Studio, DP Architects, SUTD
Images: © UN Studio, DP Architects, Hufton + Crow, SUTD

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