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Yasumoto International Academic Park and Wu Ho Man Yuen Building, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Yasumoto International Academic Park and Wu Ho Man Yuen Building, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

This high-density academic complex takes a gateway position on CUHK’s hilly campus, greeting students as they arrive from the nearby train station. As a demonstration of our proposed Master Plan concept, 2ITB provides escalator-powered access—and universal access as well—up and down some 25 meters of hillside, in a scheme inspired by Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong district. The Grand Stairway also connects six stories of podium containing large lecture halls and an International Student Center.

The complex addresses environmental responsibility goals through the use of planted roofs, energy efficient mechanical systems, interior and exterior water conservation measures, and glazed openings shaped and shaded by their orientation to the sun and views. Long term maintenance of the structure was carefully considered through the use of poured concrete, porcelain tiles, and aluminum framing on the building’s exterior.

Responding to the opportunities of campus place-making at higher density, 2ITB shows several strategies. Its ‘workhorse’ program of general use facilities is enlivened by the International Student Center, providing a campus home for commuting students, with café, and activity spaces. The building mass is articulated into multiple forms—a glassy pavilion entry for the student center, and a landscaped podium that engages the surrounding green hillsides. With a combination of classrooms, studios, and faculty offices, the 10-and 14-story towers may be flexibly programmed over time. In plan the towers are splayed to maintain views from neighboring residence halls, and their open stairways serve as colorful, vertical lanterns. The Grand Stairway itself provides a dramatic central axis up through the site, a diagonal ‘street’ of 24/7 activity and a new campus prototype.

Associate Architect: Andrew Lee King Fun & Associates