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The Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise

The Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise

The Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) in Singapore is a visionary 729,900 square-foot campus, opened in 2013, for a pathbreaking research university dedicated to innovations in science and technology. Comprised of two mid-rise and one high-rise building that take advantage of the region’s tropical climate and unique ecological resources, the university’s architecture reflects the pioneering mindset that characterizes its research activities.

A central feature of the campus’s design is its incorporation of plants, sunlight, and air into the buildings’ structures and open spaces to simultaneously create spaces for people to congregate and to surpass current benchmarks for energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability in the tropics. A series of linear vegetative columns grace the campus’s tallest façade while sinuous pools and lush greenery perforate the facility’s ground-level terraces. Unusual for large-scale research centers, CREATE’s three primary buildings are relatively thin while allowing a great deal of spatial flexibility to accommodate the university’s evolving educational and research initiatives. The pioneering design for the campus places the buildings’ cores and corridors at the perimeter in order to maximize daylight and reduce their reliance on electricity. CREATE was named Laboratory of the Year by R & D magazine in 2013.

View of the Courtyard: They layered building complex creates a series of canopies of varying materialities, some trees, some building, elevated planters.

View of the Courtyard: They layered building complex creates a series of canopies of varying materialities, some trees, some building, elevated planters.

Photo: Tim Griffith Architectural Photography

The integration of nature into the campus is profound.  The terraced nature of the buildings allows for multiple opportunities to insert plants into the campus environment.  Trees punctuate meeting spaces, and hanging ivy create curtains around open spaces.

The integration of nature into the campus is profound. The terraced nature of the buildings allows for multiple opportunities to insert plants into the campus environment. Trees punctuate meeting spaces, and hanging ivy create curtains around open spaces.

Photo: Tim Griffith Architectural Photography

Section drawings illustrate the systemic qualities of the site.  We see how isolated design choices merge to create an complete site.

Section drawings illustrate the systemic qualities of the site. We see how isolated design choices merge to create an complete site.