Learning hub

Thomas Heatherwick's winning proposal to design a university in Singapore will see teachers and students interacting on a more equal level.

Making learning an interactive and social experience, Thomas Heatherwick’s winning proposal to design a university in Singapore will create a space encouraging collaboration across all levels.  

The studio believes that since the advent of internet and low-cost computers, there has been a distinct shift in how students approach educational facilities. Nowadays students are often using alternative areas to study and work on group projects. As a result of this, Heatherwick Studio are proposing to create a Learning Hub to draw students back to university buildings.

The studio’s approach was to redefine the aspirations of a university building, and to once again make it an essential part of the tertiary education experience, says Heatherwick.

The hub’s function is to bring together 55 tutorial rooms into a structure without the conventional corridors, which have traditionally created social separation and isolation. The learning hub has one door whereby students can access the central space through a 360-degree entrance that connects and links all the separate towers. Each tower is made up of a stack of classrooms, which build up gradually, with gardens on selected floors.

Heatherwick and his studio further propose to break down the traditional square-facing classrooms with a clear front hierarchy, and move to cornerless spaces where teachers and students mix on a more equal basis.

The Learning Hub was awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for sustainability by the Singapore government earlier this year. The award recognises best practices in environmental design and performance. 

Watch the Talk with Thomas Heatherwick