26 July 2016: Yale-NUS College receives prestigious International Architecture Award 2016

By Clare Isabel Ee | Images by Weave for Yale-NUS College

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Yale-NUS College’s campus has been awarded the prestigious International Architecture Award 2016, as recognised by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

The campus, designed by Forum Architects (Singapore) and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (USA), was one of 370 projects shortlisted from hundreds of submissions around the world. A jury of Italian architects and critics selected the final 130 awardees, with eight projects recognised from Singapore, including Yale-NUS College, the ArtScience Museum and Project Jewel at Changi Airport.

“The selected new buildings and urban planning projects in this year’s edition of The International Architecture Awards demonstrate a new and growing sensitivity to true human-based design and a sympathetic approach to sustainability and the environment,” said Mr Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Museum President of The Chicago Athenaeum.

The International Architecture Awards, one of the world’s most extensive global architectural awards, recognise projects from all over the globe annually.

“We are delighted that our campus has been awarded the International Architecture Award which recognises excellence in the design, construction, planning and sustainability of our campus,“ commented Yale-NUS’ Founding President Pericles Lewis.

“Our community watched in anticipation as our campus was built over the past few years. When it opened in 2015, there was collective amazement at its beauty and at the thoughtful details that went into making it a space where living and learning are truly intertwined.”

campus - eco pond - library

The campus that spans over 63,000 square-metres has many distinctive features: lush, green courtyards punctuated by tall residential towers, a close community of learning and social spaces, spacious five-foot walkways, and residential architecture that is integrated with green spaces.

“The award is just saying what I have always felt, that this project is an incredible accomplishment made possible by the joint efforts of many extremely hardworking, committed and very smart people from two seemingly different parts of the world,” said Mr Tan Kok Hiang, Director, Forum Architects Pte Ltd.

For Mr Tan, the most iconic feature of the campus is the 30 sky gardens found in the three residential colleges, Saga, Elm and Cendana.

“Every three levels of residents form a neighbourhood and each of these neighbourhoods is served by a tropical sky garden with its own access stairs solely for the purpose of socialisation,” he explained. “This for me is where Yale meets South East Asia.”

sky gardens yalenus_1207469

The campus was first lauded for its green building designs while still under construction in 2013, when it received the Green Mark Platinum Award from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore.

The award recognised green features such as the eco-pond, stormwater treatment system, energy-efficient sensors and the maximisation of natural light all over the campus.

In 2014, Yale-NUS College was also the first educational institution to receive the Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) certification given out by the National Parks Board (NParks) in recognition of its ecologically friendly landscapes.


The award-winning projects from the International Architecture Awards of 2016 will be featured in an exhibition that will premiere at the Istanbul Design Biennial at the UCTEA Chamber of Architects of Turkey Istanbul Metropolitan Branch from 2–30 September 2016, followed by a tour across Europe as an exhibition called ‘The City and the World’. The projects will also be published as a catalogue for Global Design + Urbanism XVI (‘New International Architecture’) edited by Mr Christian Narkiewicz-Laine for Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd, available through The European Centre and online.

Distance view of campus