How can a university campus be a home for teaching and learning and not only a collection of disconnected faculties and institutions?
The information age has brought about the need for a new university campus model. No longer is a collection of disconnected faculties and institutions enough. Students, researchers and teachers need extraordinary levels of connectivity to one another. Learning is everywhere. By co-joining faculties and institutions by way of collective internal spaces and programs, a responsive campus model emerges.
Concourse Learning Hub
Like a typical university campus the program for the Shanghai University Culture and Science Cluster consists of a number of individual faculties and a library and museum shared by the whole campus. Faculties and institutions disbursed over a campus can operate independently, however only a campus that allows all functions to connect seamlessly to one another can unleash the full potential and become a an high energy hub of teaching and learning.
To solve this predicament we have added an additional component to the brief: a highly programmed internal concourse spanning between the five proposed faculties, the library and the museum.
The single story concourse building is positioned in the middle of the site. Glazed courtyards connect its interior learning spaces to the exterior landscape and roof top. This permeable and porous building creates the central teaching concourse building. Landscaped ramps link the surrounding park with the roof of this building, forming a continuously accessible landscape on ground level and roof level. The central teaching concourse is the connective tissue linking the campus’s faculties and institutions. It provides space for informal meetings, encounters, group work, extra curriculum activities, cafes, outdoor activities, performances, meetings and other activities. The central concourse building provides a single front door to the campus cluster. All institutions and faculties can be reached from within the building. Beyond connecting all facilities on campus the central teaching concourse becomes a place of encounter, exchange and provides a home for teaching and learning.
All five new faculty buildings, the library and the museum plug into the central teaching concourse. They are surrounded by landscape on three sides and can be accessed directly from the landscape or from the internal concourse. They also open onto the landscaped roof of the concourse.
LANDSCAPE + AXIS
Surrounding the entire complex, a continuous park landscape is established on the site, delivering the new campus with an environment that provides relief from learning and offers spaces for play. Main pedestrian circulation paths are established, connecting the main campus to the west with the newly proposed campus and the river to the east. A proposed north-south circulation axis connects all major buildings on the campus: the existing faculty to the south, the existing canteen to the west and the future buildings to the north. An east-west circulation axis connects the existing campus to with this campus, passing through and over the learning concourse to touch the river to the east. At the intersection of the two axes is the entrance plaza with formal entrances to museum and learning concourse.
The museum is positioned at the most prominent location at the west of the campus. Highly visible from the adjacent public road, the museum and the proposed plaza in front of the museum become the entry points to the new campus. The museum’s exhibition spaces are enclosed volumes protected from direct sunlight for ideal presentation conditions. A continuous glass façade encloses the exhibition volumes and creates daylight galleries on the perimeter of the building. Projecting floor slabs protect the museum from direct sun light. External columns provide for large column free exhibition spaces. The museum has two types of exhibition space, internal exhibition halls and daylight gallery spaces on the perimeter. The internal exhibition halls are protected from daylight and offer ideal exhibition conditions. The day light gallery spaces offer space for temporary exhibitions, student work and can be use as a flexible multi-function spaces.
The library is positioned at the most central location at the north south axis, providing easy access from the existing campus to the south and the proposed new campus to the north. The library faces the proposed plaza and together with the museum creates the public address of the new campus.
The library collection is internalized. The library collection is positioned in the centre of the building and receives daylight through diffuse skylights thereby protection the collection from direct daylight. The reading rooms are positioned on the perimeter of the building, receiving natural daylight. Vertical louvres screen the reading rooms from the direct impact of the sun. The vertical facade louvres are rotated according to the sun’s path for maximum protection. The rotated louvres allow views out of the building.
FACULTIES AND ANDMINISTRATION BUILDINGS
The facades of the faculty and administration buildings respond to solar orientation. Large floor slab overhangs protect South facing glazing. West and east facing glazing are protected by deep window reveals. The north facades do not receive sunlight therefore floor to floor high glazing provides unobstructed views onto the landscape and reveals the activities inside the building to the surrounding.