A 5.6m high waterfall takes centre stage in the newly-rejuvenated Yunnan Garden at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore that now seamlessly integrates with the Chinese Heritage Centre and an expanded Nanyang Lake. Comprising themed mini gardens and nature trails, the new space is now even more inviting for students, staff and nearby Jurong residents to visit and explore the various scenic spots it has to offer.
Built in the 1950s, the Yunnan Garden was a key attraction of the Nanyang University campus, the land on which NTU Singapore is now situated. With the just-completed revitalisation effort, the Yunnan Garden is seamlessly integrated with the Chinese Heritage Centre and an expanded Nanyang Lake. More than 1,000 new trees comprising over 80 species have been planted in the Garden, enriching its biodiversity. Other enrichments include a new 5.6-metre-tall waterfall, themed mini gardens, a boardwalk, a new stormwater management system, and Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the Garden.
The result is a 9-hectare heritage precinct – bigger than 12 soccer fields – that preserves the Garden’s legacy while enriching it as an educational and recreation hub, making it a go-to place not just for the NTU community, but also for the residents who live in the wider Jurong neighbourhood.
NTU Students’ Union President Bryan Michael Chiew Sen, a second-year Public Policy and Global Affairs student from the School of Social Sciences, said: “The new amenities in the Yunnan Garden are a refreshing addition to what we traditionally know as a heritage area with historical significance. With the rejuvenation, the Garden is now an invigorating break away from the classroom, and an attractive spot for students to have social gatherings. The spruced up greenery makes the Garden good for deep conversations and long strolls, which I’m certain will be beneficial for students’ mental well-being.”
Learning about plants and the environment is also part and parcel of a walk in the Yunnan Garden, which is designed around sustainability principles. The plant varietals in the mini gardens have been carefully chosen for their educational values, be it for their use as renewable energy sources or as sustainable alternatives to plastics, or their ability to remove pollutants from the air, soil and water.
The water features in the Garden are designed to create a stormwater management system that purifies rainwater before releasing it into larger ponds and reservoirs through drains and canals.
Integrating these lessons into the Yunnan Garden experience is part of NTU’s commitment to raising awareness about environmental sustainability.
This new 2-hectare test facility will support the Centre of Excellence for Testing & Research of AVs – NTU (CETRAN), which was launched on 1 Aug 2016 to spearhead the development of testing requirements for AVs. Together with CETRAN and its partners, LTA will work towards developing the necessary standards and testing regimes for the safe deployment of AVs on our public roads. As there are no existing international test standards or international certification bodies for AVs, CETRAN will anchor Singapore’s position as an industry leader in supporting the testing and eventual widespread deployment of AVs.
Jointly developed by LTA, NTU and JTC, the centre in the Jurong Innovation District will be managed by the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N).
In order to be integrated onto public roads, AVs need to be tested on their communication with other vehicles, road infrastructure as well as dispatch and routing systems. To facilitate the testing of AV navigation controls in a real-world environment, the test centre is designed to replicate the different elements of Singapore’s roads, with common traffic schemes, road infrastructure, and traffic rules. The circuit also features a rain simulator and flood zone to test AVs’ navigation abilities under different weather conditions.
To monitor the progress of AV testing, LTA has installed a network of seven 360-degrees close circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic locations across the test centre. Real-time footage from these cameras will be streamed back to the AutOnomous VehicLe MonItoring and EValuation SystEm (OLIVE) at LTA’s Intelligent Transport Systems Centre. Through OLIVE, LTA will be able to integrate data from AVs and the CCTVs to evaluate the readiness of AVs for public use. Please refer to the Annex for the Test Centre’s layout and detailed features.
London-based Heatherwick Studio collaborated with local firm CPG Consultants on the Learning Hub, a new eight-storey teaching facility at Nanyang Technological University.
To avoid creating "miles of corridors linking box-like lecture rooms", the building was designed as a cluster of tapered towers surrounding an expansive atrium. The idea was to combine learning facilities with social spaces including balconies, gardens and open-air corridors, to encourage as many opportunities for staff and student interactions as possible.
The 12 towers, which each taper inwards towards the base, accommodate a total of 56 oval classrooms. According to the designers, the non-hierarchal round shape – without any corners or obvious fronts or backs – will encourage more collaborative learning.
Clad with curved concrete panels, the towers feature irregular horizontal stripes that were created using 10 adjustable silicone moulds. This texture lends each tower the look of a root vegetable, although the designers liken the appearance with wet clay.
Balconies extend around the inside of the towers and get larger towards the top of the building, offering views into the atrium. This space is naturally ventilated, allowing air to circulate throughout.
The towers are raised off the ground on 61 angled concrete columns, each featuring an undulating surface texture, and small areas of planting surround many of them.
Meanwhile, the concrete walls surrounding the stair and elevator cores slotted between the towers have been embossed with over 700 drawings by illustrator Sara Fanelli, depicting images from science, art and literature.
The project forms part of a wider campus redevelopment for Nanyang Technological University which, with over 33,000 students, is one of Singapore's largest public universities.