Safdie Architects to Design Surbana Jurong Headquarters in Singapore
First Project Developed by the Safdie Surbana Jurong Partnership
Safdie Architects and Surbana Jurong Private Limited today presented Safdie Architects’ design for a new corporate headquarters for Surbana Jurong, Singapore’s leading architecture, urban design, and infrastructure firm. While Safdie Architects and Surbana Jurong have worked together on previous projects, this project marks the first initiative for the Safdie Surbana Jurong joint venture, which was established in 2017 to develop innovative and iconic projects in Asia-Pacific.
The design of the new headquarters reflects this mission by embodying the character of Singapore as the “Garden City,” with a campus that will integrate harmoniously with its natural landscape. Situated on a previously undeveloped greenfield site, the campus will be the initial flagship development of the Jurong District Eco-Garden, set within CleanTech Park.
While expansive at 68,915 square meters (over 740,000 square feet), the project has been scaled to be mindful of the individual experience for the 4,000 on-site employees as well as those who will have direct access to campus amenities from the adjacent employment areas.
“We are honored to be working with Surbana Jurong to realize the company’s new home set among the tropical treetops of Singapore,” said Moshe Safdie. “It is our hope that the new campus will come to embody much more than just a place to work. We have designed the buildings with both the Surbana Jurong community and the community-at-large in mind, creating uplifting spaces that maximize the potential for shared moments of engagement and creativity facilitated by the tranquility of the site’s natural setting.”
At the outset of the design phase, the team of Safdie Architects and Surbana Jurong undertook a detailed mapping and analysis of the site, plotting the specific location of all the Banyan and other specimen trees as well as other unique species of flora. Understanding the site to this level of intimacy led to a design premised around preserving as much of the site’s mature trees and vegetation as possible. The headquarters will be composed of a series of treehouse-like pavilions united by a central pedestrian ‘street’ that will interweave interior and exterior landscapes, creating a unique network of offices embedded within the surrounding parkland.
“With the creation of these headquarters, Surbana Jurong is consolidating its subsidiaries and bringing together architects, engineers, consultants, and other specialists onto one site,” said Mr. Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO for Surbana Jurong. “The design promotes interaction, creativity and innovation; the core values of Surbana Jurong.”
The campus’ series of pavilion-like structures are linked by a glazed pedestrian spine and a series of both open-air and enclosed courtyards that provide natural light and fresh air. Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architects curated a diverse palette of plant life for each courtyard, giving a unique character to each, that suits their function and purpose. The north courtyard contains the shared meeting center and is quieter in nature, lushly planted to create intimate spaces within the gardens, while the south courtyard is much livelier as it hosts the cafeteria program and therefore is primarily a hardscaped piazza punctuated by more formal planting.
The campus will also include a range of leisure amenities that will be shared by the public and employees. Additional spaces will take advantage of natural views, such as a 1,200-seat multipurpose hall built with a windowed backdrop looking onto the garden.
Given the innovative and sustainable missions of Jurong Eco-Garden, Cleantech Park, and Surbana Jurong, it was essential that the campus be designed to push the boundaries of sustainable design in both construction and operation.
- Sited directly adjacent to the future JW2 MRT station and bordered on its west side by the future M(obility) Deck, the campus is perfectly poised to take advantage of public transport and other environmentally friendly commuting methods like bicycles, E-bikes, and other electric personal transportation technologies.
- The office structures are designed to maximize natural light, while minimizing solar heat gain, through the use of light shelves designed to bounce indirect light in to the space while blocking direct solar radiation from entering.
- External screens and fritting are used to mitigate heat gain on the facades while maintaining as much transparency as possible out towards the landscape.
- An innovative precast concrete system that will serve as both structure and building finish was developed specifically for the project to reduce labor needs and speed up construction by being largely self-supporting during erection.
Other building systems designed for the project were also carefully coordinated to meet the project’s Green Mark Platinum goals and provide for future flexibility in the ever-evolving Singaporean context.
“The Surbana Jurong Campus represents a unique contribution to the architecture of Singapore,” continued Wong. “By providing a truly flexible and sustainable work environment that is specific to the quintessentially tropical climate and blurring the boundaries between private and public space, the campus poises itself to be a model for other corporations to strive towards well into the future.”
In 2017, Safdie Architects and Surbana Jurong Private Limited formed Safdie Surbana Jurong (SSJ), a long-term collaboration to jointly pursue major projects within Asia-Pacific. SSJ combines the strength of each partner to achieve projects of the highest quality design across a range of typologies, focusing on residential, commercial, and institutional projects which require innovative planning and design expertise to create world class iconic projects in Asia-Pacific.
DESIGN ARCHITECT: Safdie Architects
Lead Designer: Moshe Safdie
Principals: David Brooks, Jeffrey Huggins, Charu Kokate
Project Team: Howard Bloom, Tunch Gungor, Zhuang Guo, Seunghyun Kim, Lewina Lee, Reihaneh Ramezany M., Sarah Rinehart, Jeremy Schwartz, Lusha Wainford
BUILDING SYSTEMS & ENGINEERING: Surbana Jurong Private Limited
PWP Landscape Architecture