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SUTD's in-house library Pavilion design receives 2014 President's Design Award

25 Nov 2014

The DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority have announced that the Singapore University of Technology and Design's library pavilion has been awarded the 2014 President's Design Award. The unique gridshell structure was designed by the SUTD City Form Lab. Assistant Professor Andres Sevtsuk and researcher Raul Kalvo collaborated with ARUP Engineering, Arina International Hogan builders and SUTD students, faculty and staff to build the experimental structure at the university campus. This is the first time the new university has received Singapore's most prestigious design accolade. The small 300 square-meter structure joins the ranks of past winners such as the Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park etc. Since its establishment in 2006, 65 Designs of the Year have been conferred the Award.

The project was commissioned by the SUTD library as an 24x7 outdoor extension for student work and informal programmes and events. Work-desks, mobile bookshelves and wireless Internet make it into a "third space" between the dormitory and the classroom where intellectual and social exchange occurs in a casual atmosphere.

Extending a tradition of innovative catenary structures, the pavilion forms a lightweight plywood gridshell with no columns, beams, or vertical walls. A hanging-chain model was used to determine a continuous double-curvature roof that creates an architectural enclosure and works efficiently as a structure. Using computational design and computer controlled fabrication allowed the pavilion's complex three-dimensional form to be achieved with readily available materials and a streamlined assembly process at minimal cost. Each of the 3,000 plywood panels and 600 cladding tiles that that make the shell structure and protect the interior from sun and rain are unique in shape and size and were prefabricated on CNC machines in Singapore. The SUTD City Form Lab developed a new software application to manage the complex assembly of so many unique elements into a coherent whole. The software was also recently used to generate another complex structure made out of cardboard panels at the URA gallery as part of the Re-imagining Cities exhibit.

The SUTD gridshell is located on the university's temporary Dover campus and is open to public visitors during regular business hours of the university.

Credits:
Design: City Form Lab (Andres Sevtsuk, Raul Kalvo)
Engineering: ARUP (Russel Cole, Mike King, Benjamin Sitler)
Construction: Arina International Hogan (AIH) and SUTD students
Client: SUTD Library (Julie Sabaratnam)
Sponsors: Arina International Hogan (AIH), ARUP, Autodesk
Area: 200m2 (covered), 300m2 (deck)
Completion: September 2013

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Email: corinnachoong@sutd.edu.sg