CUHK / 2012

Shenzen, China
Student Services Building, University Campus
10,000 Square Meters

NMDA were one of five offices invited by Thom Mayne and Morphosis to develop a competition proposal for the new Chinese University of Hong Kong for a site in Shenzhen, China. In addition to NMDA and Morphosis, the team consisted of Griffin Enright / LA, Tom Wiscombe Design / LA, Scogin Elam / Atlanta, and Jacob + MacFarlane / Paris.
Morphosis prepared a master plan based on a continuous, winding public promenade, that mediates between urban edge classroom and lab buildings and residential buildings that wiggle up into the verdant hills on the other side. A number of buildings were designated as ICON buildings including a Morphosis designed central library and NMDA designed Student Services Building and Auditorium. The Student Services building is presented here.
As one of the major icon buildings located along the main promenade, the Student Services building expresses its connection to the University community through its site position, its sectional relationship to the promenade and private garden program, and its sculptural and perforated form. The building, like a sponge, absorbs people, activities, and ideas as it serves to socially and culturally connect staff and students, and also work and leisure. As approached from the South, the building is viewed as an internal campus gateway, marking the edge of the Undergraduate Quad and the beginning of the rich pedestrian experience of the heart of the campus.
The building originates from a perfect hexagon in plan. It then becomes specialized through a series of local developments that respond both to internal program as well as prevailing views and breezes. It is clad in a double skin of perforated aluminum and glass storefront glazing behind.

Neil M Denari Architects, Inc
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