The largest of 14 faculties and schools at NUS, the Engineering Faculty has grown from 300 students in the late 1970s to close to 10,000 strong today. Today, the faculty of engineering is a vibrant community with 10 departments, divisions and programmes.
Project Name: Faculty of Engineering E4, Nus
Studio Name: Ar43 Architects Pte Ltd
Location: Engineering Drive, NUS, Singapore
Client: National University of Singapore
Area: 19,000 sqm / 205,000 sqft
Team: Lim Cheng Kooi, Bima, Murphy
Photographs by Albert Lim KS
Block E4 is an 8-storey building situated at the heart of Engineering Faculty sandwiched between Kent Ridge Crescent and Engineering Drive 2. The building is one of the longest, sited on the hilly area of the campus and is made accessible through multiple covered link-ways from other adjacent engineering facilities.
Regularization was one of the key initiatives in this major retrofitting project as the existing building was not in full compliance with the latest fire safety codes and Building Control regulations. New provisions such as the fire sprinkler, fire suppression system, escapes staircases, firemen lift, accessibilities for the disabled, toilet provisions, etc were added. Another initiative was the upgrading of all existing facilities to be sustainable and environmentally friendly.
New facades were created with a layer of faceted aluminium screens for better shading and thermal insulation to the existing building. These screens created a distinct character that is much needed while shielding the naturally ventilated corridors from rain and the existing exposed services along the exterior walls. This project was awarded with BCA Green Mark Platinum Award in 2015.
Profile any Profile
Founded in 2006, AR43 Architects is an award winning design firm that has completed a wide range of works ranging commercial, hospitality, institutional, custom-designed residences to interior architecture projects around Asia. The firm is lead by founder Lim Cheng Kooi who has more than 30 years of experience in the field and many of his past works received awards especially recognition through publications in top architectural journals.
The hallmarks of AR43 design work lies in it acknowledging a responsibility to the built environment, understanding both the physical and emotional reconstructive potential of architecture. The firm’s works reflect simplicity in its use of basic compositional and geometric elements, specifically without any pretence or fixed style. Each design evolves around a synthesis of site and program, experimenting with a variety of architectural interpretations and ultimately builds within client’s ordinary budgets in extraordinary ways.
After graduating from architectural school in 1988, Lim worked for renowned Singapore pioneer architect William Lim who was exploring modernist ideas in commercial and residential projects at William Lim associates. His skills were honed under the guidance of William Lim, completing various award-winning projects including the extension of the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur.
Prior to starting his own practice in 2006, Lim was the Co-Founder & Director of another established architectural firm in Singapore for about 12 years. This was partnership that lasted for 12 years with the firm, where he acquired a wealth of experiences and the vastness of architectural pragmatics. The partnership saw a variety of projects receiving numerous awards and recognitions through the publication of top architectural journals. It provided a strategic platform for Lim’s design ideas and philosophy to be discussed. These were the formative years for Lim and since then his firm AR43 has benefitted a lot from the values and lesson he had gathered in the field of design and architecture.
Lim believes in being a designer who is responsible towards the built environment and like his mentors, was involved in socio-communal driven projects. The Karuna Home for the Disabled located in Bylakuppe in the district of Mysore, Karnataka State in South India is one such pro bono project that he has undertaken. The project embodied the subtleties of design that is very conscious of its users, and being sensitive to the site context and program. This language in design is prevalent in the various projects he has undertaken which includes commercial, residential, hospitality and in interior spaces.
Apart from architecture and design, Lim immerses himself in the fields of the arts. He paints passionately and sees the fertile relationship between the arts and architecture as something that defines himself as an individual. Lim’s paintings were selected for exhibition in the Shell Discovery Exhibitions in the 90s, subsequently featured as one of the Young Contemporary Artists in Singapore, a book written by veteran Singapore artist, Mr Thomas Yeo. In 2008, he held his solo art exhibition and raised fund for The Karuna Home in India and a neighborhood school’s bursary program in Singapore. The exhibition was an example of how the arts and architecture can serve the community in spirit and within the socio-economic issues at hand. Lim continues to push himself through both in his architectural practice and through is passion for the arts; sculpting the environment we live in into aesthetically beautiful and functional spaces.