Designed by UNStudio and DP Architects, the academic campus for the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) reflects the university’s new pedagogic model of interdisciplinary and collaborative learning through a creative, non-linear connective relationship between students, faculty, professionals and the spaces they interact with. SUTD’s campus masterplan has been sustainably designed to be able to respond to changes in the curriculum. Flexible classrooms and laboratories enable different arrangements in order to satisfy varying approaches to teaching and the integration of technology. The aim was to remove constraints on both teaching instruction and student development.
In response to psychological and emotional needs, the design promotes a social campus with visibility, connectivity and interaction. The campus blocks are organised via two axes – the ‘Learning Spine’ in the East-West direction, and the ‘Living Spine’ in the North-South direction, overlapping to create a central point and bind together all corners of the campus. Programme relationships are linked both vertically and laterally, allowing interactivity. Large and small communities can form as a result of the programme clusters and the voids and staircases that link them. Collaboration between students and faculty is facilitated through informal meet-ing spaces.
A flexible space for exhibitions and events has also been created at the central node: the Campus Centre forms the intellectual heart of the campus and directly links the Auditorium, the International Design Centre and the University Library. This central node facilitates cross-disciplinary interaction among all four pillars of academia. For the physical wellness of individuals and the communities, special attention was given to daylight conditions and natural ventilation in response to Singapore’s tropical climate. Air- conditioned spaces are reduced by means of naturally ventilated perimeter corridors that create a shading overhang and minimise heat loads. Tree-shaded walkways and basement planters generate cooled, outdoor modes of circulation that render the campus walkable and low-carbon. Horizontal louvres were designed to reduce solar gain, and to shield from tropical rains in exterior corridors. The coloured precast, aluminium and glass façade increases daylight where needed and allows for a flexible integration of M&E louvres.
Certified Green Mark (Platinum), passive building design and tech resulted in a building that is 30 per cent more energy efficient than a typical institutional building. The building form was skewed to create wind corridors to facilitate air movement through outdoor social spaces such as internal courtyards. Buildings were orientated to minimise east-west solar exposure, while corridors were designed to double up as effective shading devices to keep building space cooling energy requirements low. The construction was also eco-friendly, through the use of green and recycled materials.