The new Performing Arts Block houses 13 classrooms, a performing arts centre and a music room, and the new Indoor Sports Hall Block comprises a multi-purpose room, an indoor sports hall and an atrium in the basement between the two blocks. The roof terraces are visible at ground level, blending in as an extension of the school field. The distinctive façade of the school is preserved, through the ‘returning to the green’ building concept. To ensure that the athletes could continue with their training, the boarding school field was returfed and a new track was constructed there.
Special Programme Rooms (1-to-8)
The PAC Wing consists of 13 Special Programme Rooms, 8 of which are equipped with mobile projectors, whiteboards and furniture, and can be quickly reconfigured to accommodate different class sizes through the use of operable-walls. In addition to their scalable capacities, these rooms can be used flexibly as they are furnished with ‘bamboo-flooring’, which allows for kinaesthetic activities. The PAC Wing also has an Ensemble Studio, as well as a Studio Theatre to cater to the school’s wide array of Aesthetics programmes.
Indoor Sports Hall
The ISH Wing augments the school’s outdoor resource venues by facilitating Physical Education (PE) lessons and Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) in the event of inclement weather as well as unhealthy haze conditions. It consists of an 862 square metre Indoor Sports Hall, as well as a 250 square metre Multi-Purpose Hall, and can be accessed from the main school via an underground tunnel in the event of rainy weather.
The Central Atrium will serve as an added venue for PE & CCA activities and may be used for level assemblies and exhibitions.
The timely completion of the Building Extension heralds in the 100th Anniversary of the school. In the words of Mr. Lim Koon Park, Principal Architect of the new Building Extension, “although distinctively an addition to the existing, upon completion the proposal appears as a humble extension that pays respect to the existing. From Dunearn and Bukit Timah Roads, the new addition to Nanyang Girls’ High School reads as a low-lying landscape that frames and celebrates the existing complex and asserts its iconic significance. It becomes simply an altered reading of the familiar.”
Building Extension Project : Returning the Green
by Mr Lim Koon Park, Principal Architect of Park + Associates Pte Ltd.
The brief from the school board called for an extension to the existing school complex – 2 large, 4-storey blocks that would include additional academic and co-curricular space, a large performing arts centre with a seating capacity of more than 300, and a multi-purpose indoor sports hall. This new addition would stand alongside the iconic architectural work by one of Nanyang Girls’ High School’s own proud daughters, Singapore’s former First Lady, Mrs Ong-Ling Siew May - and this was an overriding consideration.
Our challenge: If the existing physical fabric of Nanyang Girls’ High School is already an iconic institution for which architecture was completed by the late former first lady of Singapore, also an alumnus of the school, how would an addition, and on the site directly in front of it, impact on its physical and cultural significance?
The design solution was envisioned to be a set of ‘non-buildings’ - to have minimal visual impact on existing views to and from the adjacent road. Our proposed intervention interrupted this formality with a set of low-lying, conspicuous intervention - to have scattered architectural elements in the landscape to lessen the impact of the new and unfamiliar, on the old and familiar. The result was an architecture that is merged into the landscape, a sunken architecture buried in nature that minimises the bulk that the brief would otherwise generate. The two blocks of low-lying, semi-underground architecture would unleash the potential for sloped and flat green roofscape for leisure and communal activities. From the main road, the new extension appears almost borderless, expanding into the landscape with little distinction of interior and exterior. This has given us an opportunity for an architecture that is less focused on the building envelope, and instead sits in harmony with its immediate context, scale, nature, and the education experience.
Although distinctively an addition to the existing, upon completion the proposal appears as a humble extension that pays respect to the existing. From Dunearn and Bukit Timah Roads, the new addition to Nanyang Girls’ High School reads as a low-lying landscape that frames and celebrates the existing complex and asserts its iconic significance. It becomes simply an altered reading of the familiar.