Law Faculty at Bukit Timah Campus National University of Singapore Architect: Forum Architects Pte Ltd Location: Singapore City, Singapore Completion: 2007 GFA: 37,700 m2 Photography: Albert Lim
Site History A historical heritage site, the Bukit Timah Campus is the cradle of tertiary education. A popular photo-taking spot on high ground with gentle slopes, it was part of the Botanic Gardens. With its open, green quads and beautiful, wide arched corridors, the Bukit Timah campus resembles a traditional British college campus–a stimulating environment for scholarly reflection and contemplation with Oxford-styled arches and corridors, pylon-like tower projecting from the roof at midpoint along their length and flattened domes of cupolas on either side at the ends. The architects’ approach was to do as little as possible whilst enhancing the innate qualities of the campus grounds. Serenity – Minimal Intervention and Preserving the Landscape The proximity of the campus to the Botanical Gardens creates a perfect setting for a campus in a park. Many of the existing tree specimens and palms on site were conserved, and involved some transplanting efforts. The strategy is focused on low water use by using hardy and drought-tolerant species.
Native plants form predominantly the plant palette to give the NUS landscape its unique “local” identity. The landscape took on a much understated character to induce a tranquil academic atmosphere. The sprawling lawns in the quadrangle spaces are preserved to reflect its past colonial influence, with other peripheral areas landscaped with a “Woodland Character” which is low maintenance and self-sustainable in the long run.
Connectivity Overlay with Intimate Breakout Spaces After numerous additions and alterations to the original double quadrangle campus design over the years, the campus now consists of eleven individual buildings which have very poor, unappealing and ad-hoc linkages. The architects overlaid a series of primary & secondary routes onto the existing buildings for seamless and all-weather connections. Besides the main double quadrangle, smaller courtyards are introduced to provide scaled-down intimate breakout spaced along the circulation route. Echoing the Old Order The architects expressed the original object-based massing of the existing LTs in their design approach. The existing relationship of the individual lecture theatres in terms of their sitting and massing is observed and retained. The original forecourt in-between former LT3 and LT4 is retained and its visual and physical presence as an entrance courtyard is further enhanced as an intimate space between the new LT and MPA, with the retained existing mural as an interesting highlight to the forecourt.
1. The courtyard 2. View to the courtyard from the corridor 3. The main building 4. View from the street
The Right Scale The textured tile pattern for the LT stone feature wall and the MPA glass
Published on Mar 17, 2011
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