Devan Nair Institute opens

4 Aug 2014

The Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East was officially opened by Lee Hsien Loong on 1 May 2014, Singapore’s Prime Minister, at the May Day Rally. Named after one of Singapore’s labour movement pioneers, it champions continuous learning for working adults. Operated by the NTUC subsidiary e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), this seven-storey complex can train up to 50,000 workers each year in sectoral and generic skills. 

RSP worked closely with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to design the campus as an integral part of its surroundings, engaging the public and local communities. “We wanted to create a very open and inclusive environment that encourages interactions and learning,” says RSP Design Director Tay Eng Khoon. 

Hence, the campus design is centred on an open courtyard visible from every angle, while majority of the classrooms are located on the upper levels, interspersed with break-out zones and landscaped decks. This opens up limitless possibilities for interactions and offers an immense feel of being part of a huge learning community. 

Borderless design

Extending the Institute’s community connection, the campus is seamlessly integrated to nearby developments through an elevated walkway to Jurong East MRT Station. The Institute’s ideals and spaces are expressed as an “architectural ribbon”, starting from the public walkway and moving into the network of dynamic spaces within, drawing both students and visitors in, with clear circulation pathways and aid way finders. 

Eng Khoon adds: “This borderless design bridges the gap between the public and the campus itself and helps jobseekers as well, by raising awareness of the Institute’s activities.”

The Institute also has an extensive array of green features, like sky terraces, gardens, vertical green walls and a storm water management integrated into the campus design. These and other green elements have been recognised with the building receiving the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum Award in 2013. 

Photos © Singapore Workforce Development Agency