After nearly five years since the design was conceived, the new East Coast campus for Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), has finally opened. This project was designed by UNStudio and DP Architects. They were the architects for Phase 1 of the academic buildings for SUTD’s most recent campus.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
DP Architects is the architect of many educational institutions in Singapore, including the Institute of Technical Education College West and National University of Singapore’s University Town.
Client Singapore University of Technology and Design
Architect UNStudio and DP Architects
Structural Engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff Pte Ltd
M&E Engineer CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
Landscape Consultant Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd