Innovative Singaporean ECEC campus wins International Architecture Award
An early childhood education and care (ECEC) space in Singapore has been recognised as one of over 120 projects named in the 2019 International Architecture Awards. The oldest and largest global awards in the industry, the awards are organised by the Chicago Athenaeum, Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Winners this year hail from 41 nations globally, with Singaporean Skool4Kidz Campus at Sengkang Riverside Park taking centre stage for its innovative design which merges sustainable practice and public and private partnership.
The centre is the first preschool collaboration between two major Singaporean Government agencies, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the National Parks Board (NParks), as well as being an anchor operator for the consortium between Kinderland Educare Services and Dr Jane Ching-Kwan.
Adding to the list of firsts for the campus is the fact that it is the first large childcare centre to be situated within a public park in Singapore.
Speaking about the building and its broader influence, Dr Ching-Kwan explained that the nature themed curriculum followed by educators was customised for the centre. “It is uniquely designed to develop our children into wholesome individuals who are healthy and strong, socially-emotionally confident and environmentally responsible,” she said.
The 4,000 square metre site accommodates 460 children per day, and was designed in conjunction with Freight Architects. The building features a two story structure designed to mimic the landscape of a rolling hill, drawing on its natural surroundings for inspiration. The curved roof structure is covered with living plants, to help the building blend with its surroundings, and to aid in sustainability.
The shape of the building is described as a cocoon, with play corridors which wind along the second story. Drawing inspiration from Reggio Emilia design principles, the centre “gives the feel of being embraced by nature,” a spokesperson said.
A garden atrium features indoor trees, shrubs, an ego garden and a sky bridge. Herbs and produce grown in the garden are used to enhance the meals offered in the centre. Rainwater is collected to irrigate the gardens.
The International Architecture Awards are the only non-commercial, global, and public awards program given jointly by two not-for-profit Museums in the United States and Europe dedicated to public education concerning architecture and industrial design.
The Awards are regarded internationally as the world’s most important global mark of excellence, showcasing the best international architecture practices, as well as the hundreds of corporate clients, developers, state and local governments, institutions, and general contractors that produced them.
Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Museum President, The Chicago Athenaeum, said the 2019 shortlist of 350 projects “highlight the amazing work done by the talented architecture visionaries whose talent and innovation have created talking points that will span generations”.
“I am delighted with this year’s selection and praise these dedicated firms and individuals and their hard work and their commitment to define a better world,” he added.
To view photographs of all the winning designs, see here. For more information about Skool4Kidz Campus at Sengkang Riverside Park, please visit the link provided.