HDR have been commissioned to design a new engineering and applied science facility for Nanjing University
Nanjing University has hired HDR to supply them with conceptual and schematic design services, as well as a masterplan, for its new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences building in Nanjing, China.
HDR’s architects, engineers and planners design the world's most technically complex facilities for public and private sector healthcare, science and technology, and academic institutions. It has been ranked in the top 5 in Architectural Record’s “Top 250 Design Firms” survey for three consecutive years. They have more than 190 office locations throughout the world, including offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Their new project, Nanjing University, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China.
The facility will house four academic departments (material science and engineering, quantum electronics and optical engineering, biomedical engineering, and energy science and engineering), six interdisciplinary research centres, a state-of-the-art conference centre, as well as common areas for student and faculty gatherings. The building, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will be over 650,000 square feet and accommodate more than 1,600 students and faculty on a daily basis.
Brian Kowalchuk, director of design at HDR, reflected that, “the challenge with this project is to create an iconic and memorable image for the University’s science and engineering program that also functions efficiently at an international standard. In addition to modular and flexible teaching labs, the building will incorporate gathering destinations for multi-disciplinary collaboration among students, faculty and industry partners”, he said.
Kowalchuk went on to say that,”science crosses political and physical boundaries, but it is still essential that the building follow Eastern principles of design and embrace the local culture.”
This upcoming project is realised at a time of great architectural development for Nanjing. Steven Holl Architects completed their design for the Nanjing Sifang Museum for Art and Architecture last year, along with the construction of the Greenland Square Zifeng Tower in 2009, designed by Adrian Smith. The city is quickly becoming a hub for architectural and design improvement in China.
HDR have maintained an active role as architects in China, developing the Beijing International Medical Centre, The Biomedical Park masterplan also in Beijing, and the Shenzhen Science Park.