Nanyang Technological University Learning Hub

Architects Heatherwick Studio
Location: Singapore,
Year: 2015
Area: 14,000 m2
Photographs: Hufton+Crow
Certifications: BCA Green Mark,Platinum

The Learning Hub, designed by Heatherwick Studio and executed by lead architect CPG Consultants, is a new educational building in Singapore and part of Nanyang Technological University’s campus re-development plan. The structure is a multi-use teaching building for 33,000 students.

666 04 Learning Hub Detail of bronze staircase with protective rain screen CREDIT Hufton and Crow
Image by Hufton+Crow

The project called for the design of a new university environment more relevant to contemporary forms of learning, and to support the development of new teaching methods. With digital technology making access to information possible almost anywhere, the new building is meant to offer a different kind of learning experience, unavailable on the internet. Instead of miles of corridors and box-like lecture rooms, the structure interweaves social and learning spaces to create a space more conducive to casual interaction between students and professors.

666 09 Learning Hub View from level seven to level one CREDIT Hufton and Crow
Image by Hufton+Crow

Twelve towers, each a stack of rounded tutorial rooms, taper inwards at their base around a public central atrium that connects the fifty-six tutorial rooms. Each room has no corners and no obvious front or back, but opens onto a shared circulation space, allowing students to be visually connected to each other and the different activities happening in the building. The new classrooms were conceived by NTU to promote interactive small group teaching and more active learning. The flexible format of the rooms allows professors to rearrange as necessary, and for students to more easily collaborate with each other. Re-enforced concrete was used as the main construction material in order to keep to a strict construction budget and to achieve a high level of sustainability.

666 08 Learning Hub View from the atrium at level one upwards CREDIT Hufton and Crow
Image by Hufton+Crow

The project was in many ways an exercise in challenging the ways concrete is used, and exploring how a feeling of warmth and specialness could be produced with the material. Re-useable silicone formliners allowed the studio to cheaply imprint a 25mm surface detail, designed by artist and illustrator Sarah Fanelli, on the interior panels, and an adaptable mould was created for the concrete façade. Each exterior panel was cast into subtly differing curves, giving them an almost hand-made quality.

666 05 Learning Hub Sara Fanelli load bearing core walls CREDIT Hufton and Crow
Image by Hufton+Crow

The naturally ventilated central space achieves a high level of environmental performance and sustainability by maximising the air flow around the tutorial rooms without the need for air conditioning. The tutorial rooms are then cooled using silent convection, to avoid noisy, energy-demanding fans. Photovoltaic cells (PV) on the roof, drought tolerant plants, and a water recycling system also benefit the building’s sustainability status. The building quality has been assessed under the Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS), and was awarded Singapore’s highest environmental award, Green Mark Platinum.

666 16 Learning Hub Evening view of the Learning Hub from Nanyang Drive CREDIT Hufton and Crow
Image by Hufton+Crow
More Project Images & Drawings

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and Green building inspirations. Join like-minded subscribers and receive our newsletter to your inbox.

Product Library

Related posts

Bowy House

It's a beach sculpture extending an eye to 'sea and sky'... Designed for a...
Loading btn

Concrete Lace

This curious building is part of Village 3 in the High-Tech Park master plan. Inspired by local, traditional North Vietnamese village features,...
Loading btn

Castellana 77

In the heart of Madrid’s financial centre, in the AZCA district, stands Castellana 77, a building which, after two decades out of...
Loading btn

Casa Palerm

Casa Palerm is as an extension of a rural hotel in the countryside of Lloret de Vistalegre, in the centre of Mallorca....
Loading btn