The new Centre for Oral Health (COH) is the most recent addition to the National University Health System medical precinct. It acts as the fulcrum of the existing campus, linking academic and medical spaces with necessary outreach and connections, including a landscaped green area, civic spaces and a network of bridges and covered walkways.
When fully operational, the multi-disciplinary facility will accommodate approximately 500 patients a day and offer clinical dental services, education and research facilities under one roof.
The COH embodies a new building typology that obscures the lines between teaching, healing and practice, through a convergence of spaces and porosity between programmes. The treatment floors are designed with a combination of tutorial rooms, open concept areas for dental chairs aggregated into pods with low partition walls, private spaces and flexible waiting areas.
Treatments can take place close to tutorial spaces, allowing for close cooperation between teaching and treating, while providing spontaneous opportunities for knowledge exchange.
The façade design features extensive use of glass with floor to ceiling windows to promote a connection with nature. Horizontal shading helps maintain a comfortable interior environment, while articulated louvres temper solar gain. The bridge in the main courtyard on the west side of the building, as well as slab extensions, also provide shading to the office and teaching spaces.
On the other hand, the design for the tower uses natural daylight as much as possible, with light shelves that bounce light to be reflected off the ceiling for deeper penetration into the floorplate.
Just as the outdoor path system encourages outdoor public circulation and reduces the need for air-conditioned common zones, many of the tower floors feature public lobby areas and landscaped courtyards that open to the outdoors and provide sheltered exterior circulation for events, gatherings, meetings and waiting areas.
The COH Building was also awarded the BCA Universal Design Mark Gold (Design) Award by the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) in 2017 for creating an environment that addresses the needs of all age groups and abilities.
The centre is designed to serve the elderly, especially those with mobility challenges and special needs. Deliberate efforts have been taken to incorporate features such as braille/tactile indicators on staircase handrails, step-less entry, designated nursing rooms and resting areas with spaces for wheelchair and strollers.
Project Name: National University Centre for Oral Health Singapore
Location: 9, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore
Completion Date: 30 April 2018 (main building and external works)
Site Area: 64,489.23 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 34,317.22 square metres
Building Height: 11 storeys (with a basement)
Client: National University Hospital (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Project Management Consultant: ARCADIS Project Management Pte Ltd
Design Consultant: B+H Architects (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Design Team: Karen Cvornyek; Stéphane Lasserre; David Stavros; Thosapond Chawatpunjaroen; Phongsak Gunkum; Van Thuy Ha; Winy Wijaya
Medical Planning Team: Fiona Teoh; Peter Lambur; Christopher Zed; Sammy Chan; Maria Ionescu
Project Management: Davin Tan
Executive Architect: Architects 61 Pte Ltd
Principal Architect (QP): Michael Ngu
Interior Design Firm: Joinery Contractor Design Studio Group Ltd
Civil & Structural Engineer: AECOM Singapore Pte Ltd
MEP Engineer: Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner (SEA) Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall LLP
Lighting Consultant: Lighting Planners Associates (S) Pte Ltd
Landscape Architect: ICN Design International Pte Ltd
Green Building Consultant: Building System & Diagnostics Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: Obayashi Singapore Pte Ltd
Images: B+H Architects (Singapore); Benny Loh; Stéphane Lasserre