School of the Arts

  • Singapore’s first specialised pre-tertiary arts school
  • A tailored environment where young performers can feel confident and comfortable on stage
  • Collaborative project with WOHA which won in the World Architecture Festival’s World's Best Learning Building category and received the RIBA International Award 2011

Initiated by the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, School of the Arts (SOTA) is Singapore’s first independent, pre-tertiary arts school which offers a unique connected arts and academic curriculum for young people.

With a design vision of celebrating experimentation, expression and discovery, Arup created flexible, sustainable and engaging spaces for the school’s performance venues.

This was achieved by designing an acoustically-intimate environment where young artists can feel comfortable and confident on stage.

Performance venues

Although it has a 423-seat capacity, the Drama Theatre is shaped to ensure closeness between the spectator and performers.

The Studio Theatre, already an intimate space with a capacity of 200, can be configured for in-the-round performances, further reducing the distance between the actor and audience.

Through a series of variable acoustic banners and an innovative motorised choir stall, both large orchestral and small ensemble works can be performed at the 708-seat Concert Hall.

Fire safety innovations

With the design team, Arup’s fire team used computational fluid dynamics smoke modelling and evacuation modelling to demonstrate viable alternatives to local fire code requirements while maintaining the building's design intent.

We proved that the building’s primary structural truss would maintain structural adequacy even in a severe fire and thereby allow it to remain unprotected.

Significant cost savings for the client were also created as we showed that the unique patterned façade on the academic floors would be able to vent smoke to the same level of life safety as required by the fire code, without any additional enclosed lobbies and mechanical systems.

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Design Yearbook 2011 cover
  • School of the Arts ©Darren SohOpen gallery

    The award winning design is the ideal venue for up and coming performers.

  • School of the Arts ©Paul McMullinOpen gallery

    Acoustically-intimate venues enable young artists to maximise their acoustic range.