UK architect’s bee hive design for Singapore university

UK designer Thomas Heatherwick has released images of a technology education building under construction at Nanyang Technology University in Singapore.

Resembling a cluster of elongated bee hives, the Learning Hub at Nanyang Technology University explores new ways of teaching at a time when computers and the internet are challenging the rationale of learning institutions.

The building consists of several 8-storey towers containing stacks of tutorial rooms, but avoids using traditional circulation and room layouts. The rooms are corner-less, to dissolve the standard classroom hierarchy where the tutor is at the front and the students all face towards him or her.

Instead of corridors, each level features open galleries where students can circulate and meet. And instead of a conventional entrance, the building is porous at ground level, meaning people can approach and enter from any direction.

“So the building has no one door, it’s all porous,” said Heatherwick. “You can just walk into one big shared space that links the whole thing together.”