The Arc at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is a cutting edge building that actually “breathes”.
The Arc embraces new performative design technologies that allowed us to fine-tune the design to work passively with the tropical climate.
By using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) we modelled how parts of the building could be made comfortable by accelerating the movement of outside air through the permeable building.
The open and welcoming gesture of the form is not whimsical but entirely derived for the purpose to enhance air movement – the embracing form which lends the building its name “the arc”, gathers air movement and pushes it through the open interior making a comfortable space connected to the landscape internally and externally.
The exterior is formed from a range of arcs geometrically and the curvilinear form also continue throughout the interior as well ensuring the air movement through the depth of the plan.
With the foregrounding of sustainability initiatives, the Arc will transform the delivery of higher education and create a vibrant campus heart at NTU.
The Arc transcends the cellular planning model and becomes an open learning environment we conceived as a “learning landscape”.
The Arc caps off one of the final building blocks in its transformation from the traditional big lectures, to its modern, interactive flipped classroom pedagogy, an integral part of the NTU Smart Campus vision. The Arc also serves as a new nerve centre of the NTU Smart Campus, where digital technologies are adopted to support better learning and discovery, and improve the sustainability of resources.
The Arc is entirely unique in that it aligns passive sustainability directly with the open learning pedagogy model. It is a thoroughly contemporary higher learning proposition.
The Arc is a series of “learning platforms” tuned to setting and place, allowing a multitude of futures in learning patterns, modes and technologies. Its open curves, translucency and permeability create a civic gesture, which welcome the University community at the North Spine and create cross-campus links to the surrounding buildings.
KIRK recently submitted their design for the invitation-only UTS Blackfriars Precinct Research Building (BPRB)FF design competition.
Our vision for the BPRB was to create a new industry hub that is both innovative and connected to the urban fabric in which it sits. As a leader in the community, this new building could further set UTS apart as a benchmark for connected, progressive and global Universities.
The new Blackfriars Precinct Research Building (BPRB) posed a challenge to integrate a 21st century building into what is a very cohesive, finely grained and historic educational site. The site is significant as a complete city block of 19th century buildings with a shared palette and fine grain articulated forms.
We developed a response to this through a careful reading of the site’s scale, form, materiality and spatial qualities. The design process was one of research and exploration that aimed to:
1. Enhance…. and extend a significant piece of 19th century Sydney urban fabric.
2. Consolidate…. by knitting the site together.
3. Explore…. utilising traditional materials in a contemporary manner to reflect the homogeneous materiality and form.
4. Refines…. our practices interest in transferring domestic material palettes into a larger scale project and;
5. Transforms…. the generic “research” building into one of particular, specific and memorable spaces.
In 2013, Kirk was appointed as Design Architect for Purple Jade Stage 2, a series of luxury villas and apartments within the prestigious Beijing development. The waterside villas are each unique in their language and materiality, but share the common objective of maximising the experience of a landscape setting.
The idea around each of the eight villas follows a defining material or elemental theme – forest, stone, water, glass. Maximising the luxury of space and landscape was central to planning views within and across the villas, which themselves play an important role in enriching views in their surrounds. The sculptural nature of the villas punctuate Purple Jade with focal points, set apart from the homogeneous typology used more generally across the development.
“From the minute we opened the doors this morning, it was clear we were on a winner. Smiles and goggle eyes everywhere. A pleasant hum of activity from the foyers forms a backdrop to my office. Dancers are warming up in the corridors and eating their lunch in the kitchens. Drama students are going to rehearsals, then discussing their work at the tables adjacent and even occupying meeting rooms. Musicians are running jam sessions. The building needs no user manual and, as I suspected, the students will lead the culture in the spaces.” ~ Greg Jenkins, Head of Studies, School of Media, Entertainment and Creative Arts, QUT Creative Industries Faculty