Temasek Polytechnic East Wing is the largest building erected as part of Temasek Polytechnic's campus development, the 8-storey, 34,379sqm educational facility which includes many new teaching facilities such as a kindergarten, chemical laboratories, a 100-seater culinary theatre for demonstration classes, an area designated for future exhibitions to be held, an air conditioned food court, study areas for students, Board and Senate Rooms, classrooms and staff offices.
Seamless Integration Into The Campus Fabric
Prominently located at the East Gate entrance of the campus, the building serves as one of the key anchor points of the campus as it welcomes students and members of the public alike into the school. Fronting the main road at Tampines Avenue 1, East Wing can be seen to blend in and seamlessly integrate itself into the overall scale of the campus through the curved tops of the 3 towers, which echo the design of the existing structures and through its matching height to the tallest concourse blocks of the existing campus.
Differentiation Between Public Spaces And Educational Facilities
The key challenge faced in the design of East Wing was that it had to cater to a diverse range of educational facilities for various users yet at the same time provide flexible common areas that encouraged social interactions. Hence the design approach adopted, focused on creating a total building performance that would be beneficial to all of its users. This was done by planning the general office spaces, classrooms and laboratories within the 3 tower blocks while being held together by a podium activated with public spaces.
A Hub For Social Activities
The design of the podium breaks away from the monotony of the regular upper floor plate through the introduction of organic curves, creating visually interesting juxtaposition in building form. There is a covered triple storey atrium with light wells puncturing from the green roof above to bring natural light into the space below, where the green roof itself serves as an open public space. The three layers of storeys have a free form shape, irregularly overlapping each other around the atrium giving rise to public spaces that cater to groups of different sizes. The greenery interspersed along the edges of the podium also help to increase the variety of public spaces offered to students, which ranges from small student gatherings to flexible exhibition spaces.
The series of public spaces created is concentrated on the ground and third storey pedestrian concourse level to welcome all of its from the surrounding blocks and is able to reflect the nature of East Wing as a hub for social activities.
Sustainable Features - Greenmark Platinum Accreditation
A conscious effort has been made to keep building users aware of the sustainable features of the building while making it look aesthetically pleasing. The light wells over the atrium have a sculptural elliptical extension above the green roof and can be seen from the classrooms adjacent to the roof.
East Wing has also implemented numerous sustainable design strategies, earning itself BCA’s Greenmark Platinum accreditation. Another challenge faced was providing maintenance friendliness and reductions in operational cost, while offering enhanced user comfort. This was achieved through the careful planning of spaces that maximised and harnessed effective day lighting, resulting in a healthy environment for the end users to learn in.
The design and planning of East Wing has enabled the union of formal educational spatial requirements with the fluid nature of socially interactive spaces in a sustainable environment.
Forum Architects is an architectural practice in Singapore, founded by Tan Kok Hiang and Ho Sweet Woon in 1994. They are committed to sensible design and quality detailing for bold but appropriate building solutions. Their project, Assyafaah Mosque was exhibited in the 2004 Venice Biennale and won at the 2004 Architecture+ Award in Dubai and the Chicago Anthenaeum Award in 2008. Their project, Maxwell Chambers won the Chicago Anthenaeum Award in 2010, and Yale-NUS College in 2016. Other award winning projects are Henderson Community Club(1999), Wilby House(2000), Boon Tat Street Offices(2001), Bukit Timah NUS Law Faculty(2007). The Singapore Embassy in Philippines won an Honorary Mention in the Singapore’s President’s Design Award in 2008, and Mr Tan Kok Hiang won the Designer of the Year in the Singapore's President's Design Award in 2014. Regional and international articles have been published on their works including three projects in the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture.