Nanyang Primary School

(Nanyang Primary School)


Completion Date
March 2015

Ministry of Education, Singapore & Nanyang Primary School

studio505 (former dB(A))

Rory Daniels
John Gollings


The new extension to the existing Nanyang Primary School and Kindergarten in Singapore is designed around a large ‘internalised’ public Valley, open to the sky and the elements, but facing away from the residential streets surrounding the school. The design objective was to place the school’s communal space at the heart of the design.


The extension to the Nanyang Primary School was a response to the previous buildings lack of harmony with the natural topography of the site. The previous building, located parallel to the street and perpendicular to the direction of the natural slope that defines the site, created a ‘wall-like’, uninviting barrier when seen from the entrance.

The new building volumes were aligned parallel to the direction of the hilltop slope and perpendicular to Coronation Road, creating a large inviting central valley. This Valley is the key space in the extension, and serves as both the entry to the site and the main orientation device.


The Valley draws the visitor gently up the slope, through the heart of the school at the top of the hill and into the large open courtyard of King’s Road campus.


The façade of the Nanyang Primary school was developed out of a need to create a rich and dream-like external world of seemingly endless pathways of life. Establishing a sense of playfulness and creativity to its students, teachers and visitors, the façade to NYPS was designed by utilising low-cost budget application of emulsion paint onto precast concrete spandrels.