History

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History

First established in 1958 as a program in Singapore Polytechnic, the Department of Architecture was then developed as part of the University of Singapore in 1969. Subsequently, it was reorganised as the Department of Architecture of the School of Design and Environment. Today, the Department offers a broad range of courses across various programs that include landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, and integrated sustainable design.

The Department celebrated its 50th Anniversary of founding in 2008.

1958
The School of Architecture was founded as part of the Singapore Polytechnic. It offered a 5 year (full-time) and 7 year (part-time) Dip Arch with R Vickery as the Head of the programme.
Singapore Polytechnic at Prince Edward Road
The School of Architecture at Singapore Polytechnic
1961
Formation of the student's union - SPA. SP Architecture. Mr Kee Yap was Head of the School
1963
The first cohort of students graduated
1965
Singapore gained Independence. The following year, Professor D. W. Notley became Head of the School
Professor D.W. Notley engaged in a discussion with some students
1968
The Royal institute of British Architects Visitation Board made its first visit and granted recognition up to the level of Part I
1969
The Program transferred to the University of Singapore. The new Faculty of Architecture comprised of the School of Architecture, the Department of Building and Estate Management, as well as the Department of Building Science. The BArch course comprised of 6 years, including 1 year of practical training
1970
The School of Architecture moved to Kinloss House, Lady Hill Road. Located in an exclusive area, this residential building was formerly an officer's mess for the British Forces. During this year, the School of Architecture commenced the part-time M.A. (Urban Planning) programme
A discussion under the M.A (Urban Planning) Programme
1972
The Faculty of Architecture was renamed The Faculty of Architecture and Building to highlight the importance of degree courses offered by the School of Building and Estate Management
1973
The duration of the BArch was reduced to four and a half years, and the practical training omitted to "meet the urgent demands of the profession". Professor Notley retired and Professor Rory Fonseca took over, who was replaced by Professor E.J. Seow a year later. The Advisory Committee was set up
Professor E.J. Seow
1975
The Ministry of National Development established a Centre for Architectural Studies with the cooperation of the Faculty. This centre offered a course leading the the BArch degree and George Steiner appointed as Director of the Centre.
1976
The Faculty of Architecture & Building was the first faculty to move to its current home at the new Kent Ridge Campus. The M.A. (Urban Planning) course was terminated due to a lack of enrolment. The BArch course was accredited by the Singapore Institute of Architects the following year.
Kent Ridge Campus
Interior of Kent Ridge Campus
1979
Professor Bill Lim was appointed Head of the School while remaining as Dean of the Faculty and Head of the Department of Building Science. He was replaced by Associate Professor David Lim as Acting Head the following year
Professor Bill Lim
1980
The Council on professional and Technical Education (CPTE) recommended increase in student enrolment. Professor Eric Lye of Hong Kong University was appointed to review the program. The two tier program was introduced: A 3 year B.A. (Architectural Studies) course and a 2-year B.Arch with 10 months of practical training. The Advisory Committee under chairmanship of Liu Thai Ker was appointed to oversee the implementation of the program changes and to work towards achieving international recognition. In this year, the University of Singapore was renamed the National University of Singapore.
1981
RIBA made its second visitation and recognised the B.A. (AS) course for exemption from Part I
1983
Architectural Computing was introduced
1985
Lim Soon Chye, formerly of PWD was appointed Director of the School in 1984, with Meng Tan Cheang as Co-Director. Both the B.A. (AS) and B.Arch degree courses were fully recognised by the RIBA and receive both Part I and II accreditation - the first in the Faculty to join the ranks of internationally recognised degree courses. The discourse during this time focused on post-modernism and regionalism
1986
Ho Pak Toe was appointed Director of the School. Sonny Chan San Yau appointed as the first Adjunct Associate Professor to the School the following year.
Ho Pak Toe
1989
The School celebrated its 20th anniversary with he Faculty. The first ever "City Exhibition" was held at Raffles City - a practice that has continued until today, underlining the role the School plays in promoting public awareness of architecture.
1990
The School started its first student exchange programme with the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
1993
Associate Professor Abdul Hussain appointed as Head of the School. Ong Teng Cheong, then President of Singapore and formerly an architect visited the school for a presentation of student proposals for the Singapore Arts Centre
1994
The Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA) was founded to promote research and postgraduate studies, with Dr. Milton Tan as Director. The module of Topics in Architecture was converted to a Dissertation for the graduating students of the BArch.
1995
CASA introduced Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes such as Computer Aided Design and Landscape Architecture
1997
The introduction of the B.A. (Arch) Hons for the academic track. This year also saw the 1st Tropical Architecture Workshop conducted by Adjunct Assoc Professor Tay Kheng Soon
1998
Associate Professor Dr Milton Tan appointed as Head of the Department of Architecture. The following year saw the inception of the Industrial Design Program
Dr Milton Tan
2000
In the new millenia, the Ong Siew May Professorship was launched along with the Ong & Ong Travelling Fellowship for students.
2001
The B.A. (Arch) Hons programme resulted in a co-terminal degree where the MArch was also obtained after 5 years of study.
2002
Associate Professor Dr Heng Chye Kiang was appointed Head of the Department. Inauguration of the Great Asian Streets Symposium (GASS). The following year saw K. Sejima and R Nishizawa of SANAA appointed under the OSM Professorship, conducting a MArch Studio.
2004
Ms Agnes Tan gifted S$1.5m to NUS in 2004 for the purchase and restoration of the two townhouses for the Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre was followed by another generous gift of S$4 million to the University for the Baba House in 2005 The International Network on Tropical Architecture (INTA) was initiated.
2005
Streaming was introduced to the programme at the end of Year 3 to either the Design Track or DTM (Design Technology & Management) which was followed by the M.Arch (Urban Design) or M.Arch (Design) or M.Arch (DTM) UM-NUS Joint studio to mark UM-NUS 100th anniversary; celebrating the University's beginnings.
2008
Associate Professor Dr Wong Yunn Chi was appointed Head of the Department. The launch of Overseas Enrichment Programs (OEPs) supported by the Lee Foundation. The DTM track converted to DTS (Design, Technology, Sustainability).
2009
Inauguration of the Master of Landscape Architecture Programme with Dr Ong Boon Lay as Programme Director. Official Opening of Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Asian Architecture and Urban Heritage in Malacca.
2010
Inauguration of the Master of Science in Integrated Sustainable Design (MSc (ISD)) with Associate Professor Dr Nirmal Kishani as Programme Director. The Tun Tan Cheng Lock Scholarship was also launched.
2011
Inauguration of Vertical Cities Asia International Competition. NUS also hosts 5th International Forum on Urbanism
2012
Inauguration of the Master of Arts (Urban Planning) with Associate Professor Ng Wai Keen as programme director. The Suzhou Studio at NUSRI was launched PSE Smile Village in Phnom Penh was launched Kampung Temasek for hands-on work for Year 1s was launched.
2013
The Sumba community built project was initiated. CAADRIA was launched with a focus on BIM
2014
Inauguration of the joint Asian Masters of Urbanism (AMU) programme with the University of Tokyo, Tsinghua University and Tongji University. Embedded studios in practice was introduced. Designing Resilience in Asia International Competition was launched
2016
Appointment of Professors in Practice - President Design Awardees Richard Ho, Mok Wei Wei, Chan Soo Khian and Tan Kok Hiang.
2017
The Department of Architecture ranked Top 10 in the World and top in Asia. according to QS. Professor Ho Puay Peng appointed as Head of the Department.