Client: Hangzhou Normal UniversityArchitect Firm: WSP ARCHITECTS
Photographer: RUIJING Photography/Zhang Hui
Century-old Hangzhou Normal University builds a new campus five kilometers west of the Xixi Wetland. Here, there is a typical river network in the south of the Yangtze River. One kilometer west of the University is the Warehouse Street of nearly nine hundred years of historical heritage; Water Silk Cotton was once prominent.
The new campus planning consists of more than a dozen independent but fully open colleges, whose architectural style are different, forming a rich puzzle. In the center of these colleges, the planner arranged a core area complex for all the colleges, including administrative center, archives, adult education centre, institute of Hangzhou urbanization, center library, teacher and student activity center, hotel and reception center, international conference center, theatre and central plaza; these are the design tasks we are facing.
Concepts and ideas start with urban design. First of all, a huge site is divided into several smaller-scaled blocks, which are completely open to each other and closely connected to surrounding colleges. Each block is based upon one main function, considering the requirements of an independent managing body for operational management, the blocks are also linked with each other to meet the needs of convenient and flexible use. As far as possible, the ground buildings are arranged to the outside of the blocks, so as to enclose the Main Square in the middle, and the central axis connecting south subway station passes through the square. Here is defined as a fully open space for pedestrians.
Architectural design is based on a strict modular system, which is used to control the plane, elevation and details of construction of this complicated functional complex, so as to ensure reasonable economic cost, to achieve a high degree of completion of construction quality; and to reduce the burden on future operations and maintenance. It is also a highly adaptive modular system, and we carried out the targeted adjustments to the different requirements of the ten main functions.
Besides the standardization of modular system and the most apparent framework of the structure, the architectural presentation to teachers and students is a soft and changeable image, with the expression of our understanding of Hangzhou city character. It is a direct reflection of the functions such as functional interconnection, outdoor activities, ventilation, and sunshade and so on. It also reduces the volume of the building. As the campus commanding height defined by the plan, we want to make it look like a viewing platform in the landscape, overlooking the campus, overlooking the old streets and looking out over nature.
Century-old school is reborn in the new century; the interconnected platform is an open stage for teachers and students to perform infinite innovations.