ZHA to Lay Foundations of Singapore’s Future Science Hub

Designed collaboratively by Zaha Hadid Architects and Architects 61 Pte Ltd, the upcoming Science Centre, spanning approximately 55,000 square meters, is poised to become a prominent landmark in the Jurong Lake District.

In a significant stride towards advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Singapore, the Science Centre Board recently marked a momentous occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Science Centre. Nestled adjacent to the Chinese Garden MRT station, this groundbreaking project promises to be a transformative addition to the educational landscape. 

Anticipated to be 25% larger than its predecessor, the new Science Centre is not merely a physical expansion but is said to be a strategic investment in the nation’s scientific and educational future. As it takes shape over a sprawling 7.4-hectare site, this state-of-the-art facility is expected to offer unique facilities and a diverse range of programmes, reaffirming its commitment to nurturing curiosity and innovation. With a target to open its doors by the end of 2027, coinciding with its 50th anniversary, the new Science Centre is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of scientific minds in Singapore.

The lead architect stated, “The new Science Centre will be equipped with the latest technologies to provide immersive learning experiences for visitors of all ages. The new KidsSTOP, which will be more than twice its current size, will feature hands-on, interactive exhibits that encourage exploration for young children. The Centre will also work with partners to prototype exhibitions and programmes that will enable parents to play a bigger role in facilitating their child’s exploration of various educational activities.”

 To cater to the interests of youths and adults, the Science Centre plans to foster more dialogue on real-world issues such as sustainability and climate change, as well as emerging technologies like generative Artificial Intelligence through workshops, exhibitions, and seminars.

Visitors will be able to look forward to more of such offerings with a unique scientific perspective at the Centre. The Science Centre’s fire tornado show will be more spectacular at its new home at the Outdoor Amphitheatre, and will be open to the public.

 From 2024, visitors will be invited to engage in an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience of the new Science Centre and view a physical 3D model of the new Centre, which will be hosted at the current Science Centre. Exhibitions allowing Singaporeans to experience potential offerings at the new Science Centre have been displayed at some schools this year, and will be roving across selected public libraries during the upcoming school holidays, according to authorities.

 The new Science Centre will serve as the heart of the community, integrated with the surrounding landscape, with a variety of gardens and spaces for all to enjoy.

Visitors will get to enjoy the idyllic views of Jurong Lake and the surrounding gardens, through the large windows of the building, from the rooftop gardens, or as they stroll along the 30-m wide outdoor activity plaza linking Chinese Garden MRT station to the Jurong Lake promenade. The rooftop garden above the easternmost block will be an event space available for public booking. Visitors can also enjoy stargazing at the Observatory at night.

Singapore’s New Science Centre will provide unique facilities and programmes as a destination for all Singaporeans to access science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and experience.

Architectural Features

Incorporating large windows serving as ‘monocles’ offering strategic views of the lake, each of the new Science Centre’s five volumes is uniquely orientated to enhance the relationships between the centre’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Appearing to float above the surrounding parkland, the design defines a series of courtyards and gardens leading from the adjacent MRT station towards the pagoda within the Chinese Garden.

Additionally, through its programmes and exhibitions, the centre will also educate visitors on sustainability practices such as vertical farming systems. The new Science Centre will feature a new Observatory for budding astronomers to learn about the universe, as well as a Digital Fabrication Lab with incubator programmes to nurture entrepreneurial aspirations and a Makerspace for young inventors to bring their imagination to life.

Furthermore, A new outdoor Activity Plaza will be a focal point of the centre and offer STEM programmes and community activities. In line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the new Science Centre incorporates sustainable design principles and energy performance strategies to reduce net carbon emissions. Working with Atelier Ten, ZHA and Architects 61 have designed the centre with a target to attain the BCA Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy certification with outdoor zones shaded from the sun yet exposed to the prevailing winds.

Natural ventilation and controlled daylight will reduce energy usage while enhancing visitors’ experience and wellbeing. Photovoltaics and insulating roof gardens will contribute towards renewable energy goals. High efficiency space conditioning with an intelligent building management system will aim to reduce energy consumption by over 40% while holistic water management and landscaping are planned to conserve and restore native plant communities.