An entirely new concept in learning.
Ong Ker-Shing, Joshua Comaroff, Jason Tan, Germain Goh
The ArtGround was a project for a repeat client—a former programmer from The Esplanade who was beginning a new venture for children and families. It was a rare pleasure to hear the brief, as it summarized exactly the kind of learning space that we would want for our own kids: open, exploratory, and aesthetically sophisticated in a playful way. Located in the existing sports hall of the National Arts Council’s campus at Goodman Road, it was a large volume in which we were able to imagine smaller objects to house an enormously broad range of programs.
In fact, it was the very breadth of this range—as well as a strict budget—which led to the final form. The facility preserves the openness of the original sports hall, placing all elements of the ArtGround’s programming into it as a field of objects. The hall acts as a sort of gallery for installations, leaving the programmers optimum room for re-imagination. The largest object at all times is the Whitebox, a theatre space built from polycarbonate and light-gauge steel trusses that were printed by a proprietary software and assembled mechano-style on site. This allows multiple activities to take place at once, for different age groups and with varied specs for light and sound.
Most satisfying, perhaps, is seeing the project in action. For those in Singapore, you can plan a visit: theartground.com.sg.
All images by Studio Periphery