Imagine a center where knowledge meets ideas and ideas translate into business opportunities! Heatherwick Studio has designed this unique learning hub for Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore). Planned for a multiple-use for its 33,000 students, the environmentally conscious learning hub questions the conventional design of an educational institution with its twelve inwardly tapering towers overlooking the voluminous central public atrium and rounded lecture rooms.
Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio explains, “Heatherwick Studio’s first major new building in Asia has offered us an extraordinary opportunity to rethink the traditional university building. In the information age the most important commodity on a campus is social space to meet and bump into and learn from each other. The Learning Hub is a collection of handmade concrete towers surrounding a central space that brings everyone together, interspersed with nooks, balconies and gardens for informal collaborative learning.”
But managing this project was no easy task! As project lead Vivien Leong of CPG Consultants, the Lead Architect and Sustainability Consultants for the Learning Hub, explains, “Managing this project was no mean feat as we had……to ensure that our work complied with Singapore’s rigorous building regulations and that it achieved the highest standards of sustainability, while working hard to retain the integrity of the original design and vision of NTU . The opportunity to challenge convention by introducing several first-of-its-kind environmentally friendly features and innovative solutions that embody the spirit of modern day learning has been a truly rewarding experience for us.”
In this revolutionary era of digital communication, where students have access to a world of knowledge at their fingertips, the design of this learning hub will allow for different ideas to blend and collaborative learning to happen.
BY: Priyanka Shah