'The pinnacle of knowledge'

Friday 13 Jul 2012

Pelli Clarke Pelli's sustainable Yale NUS College breaks ground in Singapore

A highly environmentally-friendly building for the Yale-NUS College in Singapore has broken ground, marking the next stage in the institution’s development. The first liberal arts college in Singapore, this 1,000-student complex incorporates a variety of sustainable residences and educational facilities, supported by The Learning commons, a library and multimedia hub set on a slope as a reference to ‘the pinnacle of knowledge’.

Conceptualised by Pelli Clarke Pelli, the Yale-NUS College blends elements of Yale tradition and the design cultures of Southeast Asia sporting a central campus green surrounded by academic buildings and residences enhanced by local flourishes such as shaded walkways popular in the design of Singapore shop houses. Onsite there will also be a series of science labs, a sports centre, performance complex and library.

The residential buildings are formed of towering vertical communities with students and faculty living in close quarters, each with their own skygarden - another local influence from Singapore. These are not the only green communal spaces, as the centre of the campus is a grassy expanse with a flourishing garden and arboretum of six heritage trees. An eco-pond will also be inserted to catch and cleanse rainwater for added sustainability.

Rain will also be harnessed through a square oculus in the roof of the main entrance, penetrating the roofscape with a spectacular water feature. This water will then be caught in a shallow reflective pool beneath, welcoming students and visitors before they ascend the glass staircases either side to the education spaces. Yale’s signature gates have been reformulated to incorporate Southeast Asian influences with textile-inspired metalwork.

Pelli Clarke Pelli explains: “The campus is being designed to achieve the highest rating under the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark, Singapore’s benchmark for sustainable design. In addition to visible sustainable design strategies such as the eco-pond and the frequent use of natural ventilation, the campus will integrate advanced building systems for energy efficiency.”

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