Educated Design in Singapore

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The recently completed SUTD, Singapore University of Technology & Design, pays homage to the changing requirements of today’s learning institutions. Several curvaceous and colourful buildings comprise the University, which was designed by UNStudio and DP Architects and operates in conjunction with MIT. Offering an exclusive multi-disciplinary education that focuses on Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design, and Information Systems Technology and Design, SUTD amalgamates the best practices and values of East and West.

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Two special spaces within SUTD are the library, which has been equipped with ENEA’s Lottus Wood chair with white polypropylene shells and seats upholstered in light brown or turquoise fabric. And the cafeteria, furnished with more Lottus chairs and the new Lottus AL Table with its sleek cross-base.

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A highly sustainable building, SUTD incorporates numerous passive design strategies designed to counteract Singapore’s tropical climate. Natural ventilation systems have been applied throughout the building, as well as cooling techniques, covered walkways, louvered facade shading, and extensive sunlight to the interiors due to the site’s clever orientation. SUTD embraces Singapore’s natural climate and landscape through the incorporation of facade planters, green roof terraces, sky gardens and numerous green zones planted with native trees and flowering plants.

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Ben van Berkel from UNStudio explains “The design for the SUTD consciously avoids over-articulation and instead focuses on infrastructural qualities, on connectivity and the creation of an open, transparent and light facility that responds to the requirements of the contemporary campus. In this way the architecture of the SUTD does not attempt to overwhelm the students with a singular vision, it instead enables them to develop their own architectural language for the future. From the exterior the SUTD academic buildings look like somewhat dense, separate blocks, but they are in fact experienced in a completely connected and open way”.

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