Sunway University New Building

Sunway University New Building is the signature facility of the fast-expanding Sunway University in Bandar Sunway. This 14-storey building was built over two levels of car park and serves 9,000 students and over 300 academic staff across 10 faculties. It consists of lecture halls, classrooms, labs, library, cafeteria, supporting facilities and open social spaces. There is also a FIFA star-rated soccer field that sits over 1,000 parking bays, which provides a physical outlet for students and eases traffic congestion.

The design concept of this building is about the connectivity of minds and people. It is situated at the confluence of a network of elevated walkways that encircles Bandar Sunway—with Monash University to the south, Sunway University at the centre and Sunway Pyramid to the north. The junction at the edge of the soccer field leads people to Sunway Medical, going on to Sunway offices, and then connecting to Sunway Pyramid. A substantial portion of these walkways is a refurbishment of the old monorail network that was used to transport people. The concourse also provides a place where students, staff and parents gather for discourse and socialising.

The east and west façades of the building used low-E glazing as a passive design strategy to reduce cooling load. The concourse is helmed by two tower wings on both sides with three auditoria hovering over it, which facilitates natural ventilation enhanced with the trickles from a water feature that is 4 metres below. There are also two 6-metre fans that are suspended 7 metres above that help to supplement air flow on hotter days.

A large Oval courtyard punctuates the concourse, while infusing the basement library with natural lighting and greenery. Dynamic sightlines are created between the quiet library spaces and vibrant concourse, which produce an effect of seamless transition that is aided by full-height glazing and tempered glass handrails. The courtyard also serves as an orientation point for users of the two basements, together with five other courtyards and a perimeter apron.

A 450-seat auditorium was levitated as a blob over the concourse, hence leaving a ground space for students to gather around. Two-millimetre-thick perforated aluminium was used to wrap around the blob to lighten its impact, backlighted by colour-changing LED to add an ethereal and serene quality to the academic atmosphere. It also generates a festive mood during celebrative night events. The aluminium ceiling sheets use energysaving T5 lamps to produce a ‘floating’ effect for the roof that seems detached from the columns. Auditorium steps are also revealed from below to create a stepped pattern.

The building used low-E glass and aluminium shades to provide natural lighting and visual relief for students and staff, as well as reduce energy costs by paying back the extra cost of glass over seven years. The light weight of the aluminium sheets was further reduced by 40-percent perforation. Only 2-millimetre curved sheets—some measuring 3 metres by 1.5 metres—were used for the cladding of the auditorium. The double curved geometry provides rigidity and surface uniformity despite its thinness. The metal is made to look translucent by a play of perforation, detachment and hidden lights, turning the facility into a dynamic space for the connection of minds and people.

Project Name: Sunway University New Building
Location: Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Completion Date: 5 March 2015
Site Area: 26,000 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 96,000 square metres
Number of Rooms: 3 auditoria; 8 lecture theatres; 200 classrooms; 250 offices
Building Height: 66.3 metres (14 storeys)
Client/Owner: Sunway Integrated Properties Sdn Bhd
Architecture Firm: SA Architects Sdn Bhd
Principal Architect: Ar Low Mun Wai
Other Architects/Designers: Kevin Teh; Hanizah Mustafa; Abd Rahman Husin
Main Contractor: Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: KTA Tenaga Sdn Bhd
Civil & Structural Engineer: Perunding ACE Sdn Bhd
Landscape Architect: PTA Design Sdn Bhd
Interior Designer: Sunway Design Sdn Bhd
Quantity Surveyor: Langdon & Seah Sdn Bhd
Earthworks/Substructure Contractor: Sunway Geotechnics Sdn Bhd
Landscape Contractor: Tajul Green Sdn Bhd
Building Superstructure Contractor: Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd
Aluminium Glass Specialists: Aktif Aluminium Sdn Bhd; Central Glass & Metal Works Sdn Bhd
Images/Photos: Sunway University
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