Not a Simple Collage of Architectural Elements
Pelli Architects has completed the campus for Yale-NUS College in Singapore.
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has completed the campus for Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Yale’s first college established outside of New Haven, CT. The campus is adjacent to and in partnership with the National University of Singapore. In collaboration with Forum Architects of Singapore, PCPA designed the three residential colleges and two buildings, creating a dynamic living/learning campus.
A fourth college is being planned. Intellectually and socially, students inhabit a lively and engaging environment; interact spontaneously with faculty and administrators outside formal offices and classrooms; and gather with peers in a variety of open spaces. Outdoor courtyards provide a relaxed atmosphere to balance the rigors of study.
«Our approach to the Yale-NUS campus design was to combine the sensibilities of the Yale campus residential college model and Asian architecture, with Singapore’s climate influencing many details,» says Principal Mariko Masuoka AIA, who led the PCPA design team. «In the end, the design is not a simple collage of architectural elements from two traditions but a unique response to program and context.»
At the main entrance, glass-enclosed stairwells and a colonnade are topped by an inward-sloping roof of grand scale. A square oculus in the middle of the roof allows a dramatic cascade of rainwater to flow in a controlled way into a large circular reflecting pool below. The Learning Commons is the first building to be viewed, located directly across the central courtyard, sitting at the highest elevation on the site. Adjacent is the Agora, a sheltered assembly space for campus activities and student engagement.
The courtyard is landscaped with a lush garden, six heritage trees and an eco-pond. East and West Core academic buildings flank the courtyard and are accessible by sun- and rain-screened walkways. Students live and learn amongst their peers and professors in an inclusive setting. The three residential colleges include classrooms, as well as faculty and student residential spaces. Student residential towers are organized into nested vertical communities. Thirty sky gardens define these neighborhoods and act as wind portals to direct breezes through the sky gardens. Each tower sits atop a two- and three-story wing, comprised of classrooms, administrative offices, a dining hall and an enclosed landscaped courtyard.
(Photos: © 2015 Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects)