Located in Singapore, in the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Learning Hub South, or The Hive, is a new educational landmark for the city. It’s a multi-usage building made to host up to 33,000 students.
With its daring design, the building aims to showcase the NTU’s new approach towards collaborative and interactive learning styles. It also has a very distinctive eco-friendly feature, a unique ventilation system that is based on passive displacement ventilation process, where no fan is needed for air distribution. This alternative to conventional air conditioning saves up to 30% energy expenses.
Instead of a regular, rectangular, form of an educational building with miles of corridors, the university pursued a design that reflected their way of teaching. With the trend to use digital technologies in the learning system, classes can take place anywhere. In this context, classrooms are no longer a place for lessons but a venue where students and professors from various disciplines can meet and interact.
To complete the building design and aesthetic choice, a good lighting design scheme was necessary. On the inside of The Hive, part of the design was made and calculated to facilitate the learning and teaching process. As we can see in the picture above, there’s good light uniformity in the classrooms, focusing on overcoming any shadows that might cause discomfort to the students. However, outside of the classrooms and any other rooms used for work, the lighting design was based on creating a more active experience using a dynamic chiaroscuro and light bulbs with different colour temperatures. This use of light creates a new ambiance in a single space. Certain areas of the building are warmer and more relaxing while others can be more work-focused with better visual clarity.
On the outside, the lighting design focused on showing and strengthening the circularity of each of the building parts. Taking the advantage of the building’s own apertures at some heights, the lighting design changed the areas of the exterior that is dark on the day to horizontal lines of light that place more emphasis on the form of the edifice, accentuating the feeling that the design is audacious and correlated with the new digital trends on education.