Building Name – The Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University,Singapore
Location – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798
Owner – Nanyang Technological University
Design Consultant – Heatherwick Studio; Project Lead – Ole Smith
Lead Architect – CPG Consultants; Project Lead – Vivien Leong
Contractor – Newcon Builders
Year of Start – 2013
Year of End – 2015
- The Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is a new educational landmark for Singapore.
- Site area is 2,000 sqm, gross floor area is approximately 14,000 sqm and building height is 8 storeys, 38.3m
- Learning Hub is designed to be a new multi-use building for its 33,000 students.
- Instead of the traditional format of an educational building with miles of corridors linking box-like lecture rooms, the university asked for a unique design better suited to contemporary ways of learning.
- The most important function of this new university building was to be a place where students and professors from various disciplines could meet and interact with one other.
- The outcome is a structure that interweaves both social and learning spaces to create a dynamic environment more conducive to casual and incidental interaction between students and professors.
- Twelve towers, each a stack of rounded tutorial rooms, taper inwards at their base around a generous public central atrium to provide 56 tutorial rooms without corners or obvious fronts or backs.
- The rooms in turn open onto the shared circulation space around the atrium, interspersed with open spaces and informal garden terraces, allowing students to be visually connected while also leaving space to linger, gather and pause.
- The Learning Hub is a collection of handmade concrete towers surrounding a central space that brings everyone together, interspersed with nooks, balconies and gardens for informal collaborative learning.
- The concrete stair and elevator cores have been embedded with 700 specially commissioned drawings, three-dimensionally cast into the concrete, referencing everything from science to art and literature.
- Overlapping images, specially commissioned from illustrator Sara Fanelli, are deliberately ambiguous thought triggers, designed to leave space for the imagination.
- The sixty one angled concrete columns have a distinctive undulating texture developed specially for the project.
- The curved facade panels are cast with a unique horizontal pattern, made with ten cost-efficient adjustable silicone moulds, to create a complex three-dimensional texture.
- With year-round temperatures in Singapore between 25°C and 31°C it was important to maintain the students’ comfort whilst achieving a sustainable energy usage.
- The building’s open and permeable atrium is naturally ventilated, maximising air circulation around the towers of tutorial rooms and allowing students to feel as cool as possible.
- Each room is cooled using silent convection, which does away with the need for energy-heavy air conditioning fans.
- The Learning Hub building was awarded Green Mark Platinum status by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA),Singapore, the highest possible environmental standard for a building of this type.