Prompted by an open competition to design a new School of Architecture for the Chinese University of Hong Kong, these proposals provide accommodation for a diverse range of facilities including studios, lecture rooms, a library, administrative offices, workshops and other social facilities. Located at the entrance to the university campus, the building has been conceived as a new gateway to the campus with the structure stepping back to create a generous, partially-shaded public space at the south-eastern corner of the site.
A full-height atrium along the public, street-side elevation of the building reveals the inner workings of the building, where functions such as lecture rooms, workshops and offices are contained within the stack of primary accommodation. A series of yellow ‘trays’ slotted into the main structure project out into the atrium to provide open studio spaces and areas for crits and displays.
The canopy is expressed as a separate element that wraps the structure to provide shading and assist a highly efficient environmental strategy. The double-skinned screen draws air into the building at the lower levels and acts as a thermal flue, pulling stale air from occupied spaces and expelling it at roof level, with air movement assisted by a photovoltaic-powered fan system.