While technology within education has delivered many benefits, some feel it has led to a decrease in socialization among both students and faculty members. With this in mind, architect Thomas Heatherwick has designed the new Learning Hub for Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTUC). The building will be the first of fourteen new updates to the campus as part of a twenty year project.
Ultimately, what the studio wants to accomplish with this architectural endeavor is to steer clear of the all too familiar cement labyrinths with fluorescent lighting and closed off rooms seen in so many educational facilities. Instead, each tower in the cluster of eight-story-tall cylinders (that together resemble a hive) is connected to each other and features 55 curved classrooms that creates a very organic and natural flow to the design, so as to promote constant interaction between the students and teachers. Even the porous style entrance allows one to enter from any direction instead of limiting them to one or two choices.
The building has been awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for its sustainable features including T5 lighting, irrigation-less indoor gardens, and water efficient fittings. The NTUC Learning Hub is set to be open as early as 2014.