When the School of Design and Environment at the National University of Singapore required a new building, it made logical, pedagogical, and financial sense to design one that walks the talk in terms of green architecture. The result? A living laboratory that demonstrates human-centric approaches for integrated sustainable development.
Standing six-storeys tall, SDE4 makes an apt awareness project for the School, an institutional organization that promotes design, sustainability and education in Southeast Asia. And that’s partly because SDE4 is the first new-build, net-zero energy building in Singapore. The modern building presents a 8500m², multidisciplinary space, designed by Serie + Multiply Architects with Surbana Jurong.
Located on a hillside along Clementi Road near the southern coastline of Singapore, SDE4 is a new addition to the Design & Environment precinct and part of a wider campus redevelopment. The climate-responsive building includes more than 1500m² of design studio space; a 500m² open plaza; a wide variety of public and social spaces; workshops and research centres; as well as a new cafe and library.
The building’s flexible design and high efficiency reflect the School’s ambition of promoting new forms of teaching spaces as a scaffold for research. Rooms are designed in a variety of sizes to allow flexible rearrangement of layout for exhibitions, school installations and future change of use.
SDE4 now forms an integral part of the campus, says Lam Khee Poh, dean of the School of Design and Environment.
“Buildings are not isolated entities – grouped, they form a neighbourhood, supporting community activities that are crucial for all educational institutions,” says Lam.
“Our students and faculty get the opportunity to learn both inside and outside the classroom, being engaged in an integrated process of designing, developing, constructing, and operating ultra modern buildings that in turn, influence the students’ own behaviour when they occupy them.”