Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) collaborated with Architects 61, on the design of Singapore’s new science centre. Singapore’s Science Centre Board has recently revealed the design of the new Science Centre, which will provide unique facilities and programs as a location for all Singaporeans to access STEM education and experiences.
The new Science Centre, inspired by the natural beauty of Singapore’s Jurong Lake Gardens, looks to the future and maximizes chances for visitors to connect with the surrounding gardens and lake. The center is made up of five interlocking rectangular sections that house exhibition galleries, interactive labs, and event spaces, as well as visitor facilities, administrative offices, archives, and service rooms.
It will continue the institution’s mission since its founding in 1977 to spark curiosity and innovation in generations of young school children and plans to leverage the new location and facilities to expand its outreach enabling Singaporeans of all ages to encounter and appreciate the importance of science and technology in their lives.
Each of the new Science Centre’s five volumes is specifically oriented to improve the connections between the centre’s interior and outdoor areas, with big windows functioning as’monocles’ affording strategic views of the lake. The architecture, which appears to hover above the surrounding parkland, defines a succession of courtyards and gardens that flow from the neighboring MRT station to the pagoda within the Chinese Garden. The new Science Centre will be an attractive place for encountering science and nature, as well as presenting numerous options for community activities, with different indoor, outdoor, and rooftop learning areas.
The new Science Centre will include a Children’s Gallery more than double the size of the current gallery, as well as its own interactive outdoor waterplay area, exploration paths in the secondary forest, and a sensory trail on the roof garden. Older students can expect to visit specialized labs and seminars that promote hands-on understanding of scientific subjects. For example, the new Eco-Lab will assist students in scientific investigations by allowing them to retrieve and analyze samples taken directly from the Eco-Garden and continue to monitor the data collected from the samples using Internet of Things (IoT) equipment in school or at home, extending their learning experiences beyond their visit.
Further, it will include a new Observatory for aspiring astronomers to learn about the cosmos, a Digital Fabrication Lab with incubator programs to foster entrepreneurial dreams, and a Makerspace for young inventors to bring their ideas to reality. A new outdoor Activity Plaza will serve as the center’s focal point, offering STEM programs and community activities.
“Our ambition for the new Science Centre is to be a truly rewarding destination for all ages and abilities. The universal design principles of the new building will facilitate equal opportunities for all visitors, regardless of demographic or learning abilities. We have also been experimenting with new programmes and exhibition formats at the current site, taking note of the best practices we can apply to provide enhanced experiences to our audiences. Top of the list is to seek community partnerships to ensure we co-create a place that individuals will not only want to visit, but also leave feeling more curious about science.”
-Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of Science Centre Board
The new Science Centre combines sustainable design concepts and energy efficiency measures to decrease net carbon emissions, in accordance with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The center was developed in collaboration with Atelier Ten, ZHA, and Architects 61 with the goal of achieving the BCA Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy accreditation, with outdoor zones shielded from the sun yet exposed to the prevailing winds. Natural ventilation and regulated daylighting will minimize energy consumption while improving visitor experience and wellbeing. Photovoltaics and insulating roof gardens will help to meet renewable energy targets. High efficiency space cooling combined with an intelligent building management system will seek to cut energy usage by more than 40%, while holistic water management and landscaping will be implemented to maintain and restore native plant populations.
“We have great confidence in the new Science Centre’s potential to drive growth in STEM education and exploration across the region, as STEM industries play a key role in shaping our post-pandemic future. I’d like to express my appreciation to the Ministry of Education and all our partners for their belief in the Centre’s ability to inspire generations, and their unwavering support in helping to deepen the impact of our work.”
– Ms Tan Yen Yen, Chairman of Science Centre Board
The new Science Centre is scheduled to open in 2027, coinciding with the institution’s 50th anniversary.
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Project Directors: Michele Pasca Di Magliano, Maurizio Meossi
ZHA Project Associate: Cristina Capanna
ZHA Project Team (Design Development Stage): Benedetta Cavaliere, Damir
Alispahic, Didem Sahin, Flavia Santos, Gabriele De Giovanni, Gizem Mutharoğlu,
Juan Pablo Londono, Lara Zakhem, Lorena Espaillat Bencosme, Luciana Maia
Teodozio, Mauro Sabiu, Sara Criscenti, Shi Qi Tu, Valeria Perco
ZHA Project Team (Concept and Schematic Design Stages): Jakub Klaska, Cristina
Capanna, Bogdan Zaha, Millicent Anderson, Sara Criscenti, Chantal Matar, Arian
Hakimi, Stefano Iacopini, Serra Pakalin, Stefano Paiocchi, Martina Rosati, Harry
Spraiter, Maria Touloupou, Sven Torres, Shi Qi Tu, Alessandro Cascone, Zsuzsanna
ZHA Competition Project Directors: Michele Pasca Di Magliano, Maurizio Meossi
ZHA Competition Associate: Jakub Klaska
ZHA Competition Project Architects: Cristina Capanna, Mario Mattia
ZHA Competition Project Lead Designer: Bogdan Zaha
ZHA Competition Team: Saman Dadgostar, Arya Safavi, Sven Torres, Michela
Falcone, Natasha Marks, Serra Pakalin, Billy Webb, Michael On, Neil Rigden, Alex
Turner, Damiano Rizzini, Christina Christodoulidou
Lead Architect: Architects 61 Pte
Local Architect: Architects 61 Pte
Structural Engineering: WEB Structures
Quantity Surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall LLP
Cost Consultants: Rider Levett Bucknall LLP
Environmental Consultant: Atelier Ten
Façade Engineering: Koltay Facades
MEP: Beca Carter Holling & Wilke Pte Ltd
Transport Consultant: Vertix Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd
Landscape Consultant: Grant Associates Singapore Pte Ltd
Lighting Design: Nipek Pte Ltd
Acoustic Consultant: Shen Milsom & Wilke
Design for Safety Consultant: PH Consulting Pte Ltd
Security and Blast: Beth-El (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd
Signage & Way Finding Consultant: Radical Design Partnership Pte Ltd
Find more projects by Zaha Hadid Architects: www.zaha-hadid.com