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Feature

Hall you ever wanted

With the newest halls of residence offering 1,800 more places, incoming students are now guaranteed a two-year stay on campus. Derek Rodriguez checks in on their attractions

Location, location, location

Students standing against an artificial grass wall PHOTO: MARK TEO

Being nestled next to NTU’s northern green belt has its advantages. Even if you’re not an avid bird-watcher or a nature lover, the serene surroundings will surely put you at ease. And it doesn’t matter if your room isn’t forest-facing. You can still get front-row seats to the antics of the animal kingdom from air-conditioned reading rooms and cool study nooks, too.

Getting around and out of campus is easy as well. Whether you’re heading for lectures at the North Spine or going for a dip in the Sports & Recreation Centre pool, the Campus Loop Red and Blue buses put you minutes away from your destination. Catching a movie at Jurong Point? Bus service 199, right on your doorstep, takes you to the mall.

“With two campus bus lines that pass by the hall, it’s easy for me to get to classes or pop back to my room for little breaks between lectures and tutorials,” says accountancy & business freshman Shammaine Chong, who moved into Tamarind Hall in August.

There’s no shortage of dining options too. Sometimes, you just want to spend a quiet evening with Netflix instead of going to the nearest mall for dinner and jostling with the crowds. An eight-stall food court will be opening soon. Or you can also take a short stroll to canteens at the neighbouring Halls 11 and 14 to quell your hunger pangs.

More than meets the eye

View of the Living Street from a high floor PHOTO: LESTER KOK

The layout of the new halls reflects NTU’s move towards interdisciplinary study and collaboration. A fine illustration of this approach is the Living Street, a pedestrian space connecting the three halls, which doubles as an activity hub.

With barbecue pits and colourful social spaces aplenty, there’s loads of opportunities for gatherings, at any time of the day or night. Study pavilions and discussion pods add even more areas where students can get creative together and inspire one another in an open environment. Who knows, springing from these serendipitous encounters or casual conversations among friends from different disciplines could be the next big idea or business venture.

Paras Bajaj, a first-year medicine student, agrees: “I can see students having a vibrant hall life here. The variety of amenities and recreational areas provides great opportunities for residents to meet and grow as a community.”

More spacious than ever

A pair of male students in a room at Meranti Hall PHOTO: MARK TEO

Following in the vein of the three halls that opened last year – Banyan, Binjai and Tanjong – the three new 13-storey undergraduate residences are named after tropical trees.

But one difference is the type of rooms available. Apart from single and double rooms, including plus-size single rooms that are the first of their kind in NTU, you can also opt for single rooms with attached bathrooms.

The addition of Saraca, Tamarind and Meranti Halls brings the number of residential halls on campus to 24, which means more than 14,000 undergraduates can live on campus. NTU has the distinction of being the first university in Singapore to guarantee incoming freshmen a living space on campus for the first two years.

With classes like dancing and cooking becoming a feature of residential life in NTU, students will also be learning alongside their friends, getting the best of both worlds.

Many students wish to live in our halls and experience community life and learning beyond the curriculum. Here they can do so in style!
– Prof Kwok Kian Woon, Associate Provost (Student Life)

Designed with style

Students sitting on colourful seats in a reading room PHOTO: MARK TEO

In the reading rooms, couches and chairs in fun shapes and happy colours create a space that’s conducive to creativity. When you feel that you’re drowning in equations or case studies, plonk yourself down on nugget-shaped seats by the windows to recharge.

Outside these rooms, forest-facing study decks offer a soothing view to switch things up. Perfect for small-group discussions, they are also convenient spots to mingle or enjoy a moment of solitude with a cuppa.

“Studying alone need not be mundane, especially if you are tired of being cooped up in your hall room. The reading rooms are an excellent change of scenery and put you in the mood for studying,” says engineering freshman Benedict Naguiat.

Feel on top of the world

Students taking in the panoramic view of the campus from the rooftop garden PHOTO: MARK TEO

The blocks are connected by scenic walkways and corridors with planters. Get some fresh air at the rooftop garden. From this vantage point, a verdant canopy of trees stretches as far as the eye can see, and you can enjoy panoramic views of the lush campus.

“The rooftop garden is lovely – I love chilling here!” says Shammaine. “Up here on the 12th floor, it’s windy and cooling. It’s definitely a good place to relax with my hall mates.”

Facilities at your doorstep

The 182 sqm gym at the new Nanyang Crescent halls PHOTO: MARK TEO

A host of recreational facilities in the halls makes it easy to break out of your shell. Says first-year accountancy & business student Nicodemus Ng: “You can get to the action quickly. I like that there are so many facilities near one another, such as the gym, music room, canteen and study nooks.”

Pump some iron or sweat it out at the 182 sqm gymnasium that is only open to residents. Jam with your band in the music room. Or practise your moves in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the spacious dance studio that can be partitioned into smaller spaces.

Green initiatives

The forest-facing study deck at the new Nanyang Crescent halls PHOTO: MARK TEO

The new Nanyang Crescent halls are designed with environmental sustainability in mind and are the latest buildings on campus to get top marks for being “green”.

For example, the blocks were constructed with eco-friendly cement made of reused industrial by-products. Energy-savers include a motion sensor LED system and solar-powered water heaters. Specially designed louvres enhance ventilation in the rooms and coated windows reflect heat and UV rays, so you don’t feel the need to turn on the air-conditioner.

  • Students at the entrance of the new Nanyang Crescent halls
    PHOTO: MARK TEO
  • Students at the new Nanyang Crescent halls’ Living Street
    PHOTO: MARK TEO
  • Aerial view of the new Nanyang Crescent halls’ Living Street
    PHOTO: LESTER KOK
  • A pair of male students in a room at Meranti Hall
    PHOTO: MARK TEO
  • Large, forest-facing windows at a reading room
    PHOTO: LESTER KOK
  • Students taking photos at the rooftop garden
    PHOTO: MARK TEO
  • A dance room with floor-to-ceiling windows
    PHOTO: LESTER KOK
  • Quirky grass-roof pavilions at the Living Street
    PHOTO: MARK TEO