Scott Brownrigg completes design for latest facility for Newcastle University in Singapore


Scott Brownrigg has completed the design for the Newcastle Research and Innovation Institute (NewRIIS), the latest facility for Newcastle University in Singapore. The new 1,100 sq m facility ‘celebrates research’, catering for researchers and post graduates with state-of-art facilities which allow them to collaborate, interact and connect with Newcastle University in the UK.

NewRIIS encourages a learning environment that is progressive, unique and at the forefront of its areas of research. Located within the Devan Nair Institute, a higher education facility that hosts several education ‘tenants’ – including the new research facility, the design reflects the University’s UK brand and reinforces its reputation within Singapore and the wider region.  With aspirations to be open and welcoming, the design is visually accessible, promoting and creating interest whilst attracting future students in the ever competitive overseas education market. 

In promoting collaborative working, different learning environments and workspaces have been provided which can be utilised in a variety of ways to accommodate everything from individual study through to large class teaching scenarios. Informal, relaxed areas, open plan collaborative spaces and individual café style bars complement the more structured facilities. These spaces are highly flexible and can be adapted through the range and types of furniture.

A welcoming entrance leads immediately into the main heart space of the facility with a centrally located reception desk. The desk marks the start of a custom made piece of carpentry that describes a single line, which bends and folds around the central area to create a series of quiet study and collaborative working booths.

Scott Brownrigg also worked closely with the University to create a suite of laboratories, classrooms and AV suites that enable the University to expand its teaching facilities within Singapore whilst providing a facility for industry collaboration.

The four laboratories for computer simulation and electrical studies have the capability to be adapted to accommodate research projects as and when required. Adjacent to the study booths, the laboratories are visually connected to the main space through a series of coloured vision panels which allow observation and encourage interest.

Professor Ian Postlethwaite, CEO and Dean in Singapore said of the new facility: “We are enormously pleased with NewRIIS. It is a great space for world-class collaborative research and postgraduate training activities. The large open plan research area that separates the laboratories from the teaching rooms is very popular.  We liked the initial design concept but the final facility exceeds our expectation."

Led by Scott Brownrigg’s Singapore design studio, the use of BIM helped meet the ambitious programme which from appointment to handover was just six months.

Andre Heng, Senior Design Manager in Scott Brownrigg’s Singapore Design Studio said: By involving the client through the whole design process, and despite working to challenging budgets and schedules, the project team in Singapore was able to deliver an inspiring education facility which will make an enormous difference to the provision of education in Singapore for Newcastle University”.