Home / Case Studies / Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution is a premier institution in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area in Singapore. It is one of the oldest education establishments in Singapore, having been founded in 1823 by Sir Stanford Raffles, also the founder of Singapore. The current campus was built in 1990, with expansions and upgrading done in 1995 (new Junior Block and Boarding Complex) and 2007 (new teaching block and boarding building, school hall and Admin Block upgraded).
Raffles Institution has just gone through a series of upgrading work. As an education institution, we want to see how the newer buildings have been designed to accommodate people who are wheelchair bound. On the other hand, we are also comparing the new buildings with the older existing ones, to see if there is an improvement in accessibility to facilitate movement around the school for persons in wheelchair (wheelchair users).
S. Rajaratnam Block (built 2006)
Walking from our affiliated junior college, Raffles Junior College (RJC), to the new S.R. Block, a wheelchair users will first face a flight of stairs. S.R. Block has a lift that is catered for wheelchair users. The lift button is located low for easy reach and the lift door is wide enough for a wheelchair to enter. The lift, also the only one in the entire school compound, reaches all seven floors of the block. There is clear sign indicating the direction of the handicap toilet and lift, but only on the ground level. There are handicap toilets on the second level and above but they are labeled “Staff toilet”. The handicap toilet on the first floor is clean and well maintained. The corridor on the second level is very wide, unlike on the higher floors where a wheelchair may block the entire corridor.
The junior block is only accessible to wheelchair users only on the first and second level. Second floor is accessible through a linkway from S.R. Block. The handicap toilet located on the first level is used as a storage room for the cleaners. The ramp leading to the junior block is not visible from the front of the building as the direction signage is located at the corner of the building. However, the ramp has a gentle slope that makes it easy for wheelchair users to ascend or descend. A mistake in design is a small step that one must overcome to reach the ramp.
Admin block 1 and 2 (older than Junior Block)
Handicap parking lots are available at the side of the building. There are gentle ramps present at the main atrium. The blocks are accessible only on the first floor. There is a ramp leading from Admin Block 1 to the clock tower and the canteen.
Note: These blocks are still under construction at time of case study
There is a handicapped toilet present and it is easily located. The ramp leading to the toilet is also gentle. However, water outlet is located on a raised platform.
Handicap parking lot found outside the building. There is a makeshift ramp in front of parking lot to allow access up a step. Two steps found on the first floor of the design centre, making the whole block inaccessible, forcing wheelchair users to use the backdoor.