New ITE College West aims to transform vocational & technical education
Recognised internationally for its innovative programmes, the ITE College system in Singapore is focused on vocational and technical education that emphasises training in ‘real-world’ situations. ITE College West specialises in courses for the Hospitality and Service Industry. It is situated on a 9.54 ha land parcel in Western Singapore adjacent to a public housing community and a Light Rail Transit station. In order for the students to be trained in authentic environments, the college houses a convention centre, a 22-room hotel and a fine-dining restaurant nestled amongst other privately operated shops and restaurants that are open to the public.
Responding to the intentions of public engagement, the college grounds is designed as an 'open campus' to encourage public interaction with students and staff. The campus master plan is centred on an organic circulation spine that spans the length of the site and organises all the building clusters. It begins at the front of the building as a richly landscaped forecourt that seamlessly leads to a series of public 'event spaces' on the ground level, the largest of which is a weather-protected 2700-sq-m amphitheatre at the heart of the campus. The central spine is formed on its sides by continuous elevated walkways that define the hierarchy of the open spaces and richly landscaped courtyards.
Named the 'Innovation Walkway', this completely naturally-ventilated walkway celebrates the informal spaces in-between buildings that encourage social interaction amongst the students and professors. The strategic placement of the individual buildings along the walkway ensures that there are sufficient gaps to allow effective cross ventilation, reducing the building’s energy load for artificial cooling in the hot and humid climate. The college programme is reinforced by a campus design that advocates interaction with the community, presenting the students with opportunities to hone valuable soft skills that are critical to the service industry.