Leigh & Orange and Studio Daniel Libeskind complete futuristic new Media Centre in Hong Kong
The Creative Media Centre for the City University of Hong Kong provides facilities that make the University to the first in Asia to offer the highest level of education and training in the creative media fields. The Centre will house the Centre for Media Technology and the Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology. The distinctive crystalline design creates an extraordinary range of spaces rich in form, light, and material that, together, create an inspiring environment for research and creativity.
Studio Daniel Libeskind worked with Leigh & Orange Limited to complete the project on November 15th 2010. The project brief for the Creative Media Centre expressed two distinct requirements. First that there are very few repetitive rooms in the building and most rooms needed specific technological requirements that determine size, proportion, lighting, sound isolation and even structure and mechanical systems. In addition, there were requirements for space efficiency and cost that matched any other public academic building in Hong Kong.
The brief also required that the design of the CMC encourage creativity, collaboration and be a bold and provocative environment for the natural chaos inherent in creative endeavour. The architects balanced these two requirements through the connective public spaces on the interior and exterior that flow around the private, technical academic rooms. A line of cores runs through the center of the building. One-way beams span to the perimeter and create a 3m planning module for the rooms. Open area for circulation follows the line of cores but becomes an important space for creative collaboration through specific sculptural treatments. The sloping walls of the building create larger public spaces on the lower floors and open exterior areas on the ground.
Finally, within the private academic areas, the architects developed teaching clusters that reflect the same balance of openness and efficiency as the building as a whole. Each cluster has rooms for experimentation in their centre, offices and studios around the perimeter and flexible space for cooperation in between. These areas are asymmetrical and typically too wide for a corridor yet narrower than rooms, they are thus distinct areas specifically designed for unpredictable collaboration between teachers and students - between production and theory. The distinctive crystalline design creates an extraordinary range of spaces rich in form, light, and material that, together, create an inspiring environment for research and creativity.