Singapore Management University

Singapore Management University, Singapore, Cullinan Studio, KNTA Architects
Construction year: 2005
Address: 81 Victoria St | SINGAPORE | Singapore | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 1.29685, 103.85218

The Singapore Management University (SMU) City Campus is the first of its kind; designed, integrated and constructed from scratch in the centre of a developed city-scape.

Four schools and a library are linked at below-ground concourse level allowing users to move under cover from one end of the campus to the other while enjoying views into the open courtyards that connect the concourse to the street, park and campus facilities. The porous spaces provide ‘breezeways’ to help pre-condition the incoming air.

Cullinan Studio were appointed as overall masterplanner for the 239,000sqm campus in collaboration with local architects KNTA after winning an international competition. We were also architects for five of the six first stage buildings.

A visually appealing ‘green’ theme runs right across the campus. Buildings overlooking the reconfigured Bras Basah Park have glazed facades shaded by a ‘vertical garden’ of climbing plants.

The design was completed on a fast-track programme to ensure piling was completed ahead of the boring of a new underground line and was successfully carried out to schedule.

The Singapore Management University (SMU) was a high profile Government initiative developed in with the Wharton Business School as a world class institution for the whole of South East Asia.
SMU made a symbolic move from the Bukit Timah Campus to its new and permanent city campus in 2005, in an area long associated with Singapore education.

The new campus for 6,000 students is in the heart of the historic and cultural centre of Singapore, in Bras Basah Park. The design keeps a sense of open space and visual connection between the historic buildings that surround the campus, such as the Singapore Art Museum, the National Museum and the Cathedral.

Existing rain trees have been preserved along street frontages to shade the main pedestrian routes. Elevations facing the park have delicate ‘green’ skin of plants growing on a light stainless steel framework. This system provides screening shade to glazing and sets up an interplay between these buildings and their landscape setting.

Three tiers of landscape – concourse garden courts, open ground floors and fifth floor roof gardens – act as both a lung to individual buildings and collectively as a signature of a ‘Campus in the park’.

In common with many traditional buildings in areas of high sunshine and heavy rainfall where shelter is important, our buildings increase in size as they rise between ground and roof.
Conducted solar gain through the roof is minimised by separating it into layers: an outer sun and rain ‘parasol’ and an inner air and thermal barrier. A large air gap between the ‘parasol’ and inner roof allows and promotes free air movement to remove the solar heat gain.

The narrower shaded ground floors allow for a rich mix of public uses without seeming cavernous
Shaded courts and breezeways across the whole campus are shaded by trees and the buildings.
Interior circulation spaces and lightwells are used as reservoirs of cool air. Chilled water cooling coils at high level induce ‘Downdraught Cooling’ creating a ‘cool pool’ from which fresh cool air is taken into perimeter classrooms on the lower three floors of accommodation.

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