Chu Hai campus encourages expression of cross-disciplinary spirit through interweaving finger-blocks
The new campus is planned in response to the picturesque natural setting. Nowhere in Hong Kong and very rarely in the world is a university so close to the beach and in combination with such a green natural mountain backdrop. Building mass is broken down into small rectilinear academic blocks and amenity pavilions. This arrangement avoids any wall-like effect and gives a benign scale in compatible with natural terrain while maintaining visual connectivity towards the sea.
Exemplary building permeability, high green coverage and good shading are key in addressing the sub-tropical eco-campus aspiration of the College. Linear finger-like building blocks arranged in an interweaving manner offers high building permeability. The buildings are also raised on pilotis to maximise air ventilation, especially near pedestrian levels, for outdoor comfort and passive cooling of indoor spaces. Green coverage of over 50% is achieved to mitigate any heat island effect. The interweaving building configuration and courtyards also provide excellent inter-block shading and reduce solar gain. Each department or faculty is housed in one of the interweaving finger-blocks so individual departments / faculties may have their individuality. While each finger-block will be expressed as an entity with slightly different architectural character, the connecting nodes between the blocks are conceived as airy, day-lit and relaxed semi-outdoor communal spaces to facilitate meeting of students for cross disciplinary learning and interaction in a casual manner.
The campus has aspired to be a holistic learning and balanced education environment. The academic and hostel blocks are rectilinear blocks with regular structural grids in response to the formal teaching and learning configurations. The structural and partitioning systems are flexible to allow reconfiguration for classes of different sizes. The semi-outdoor spaces and amenity blocks are conceived as more dynamic and informal with a view to creating an exploratory learning environment. The Cascade, a campus street which links all amenities, academic facilities and open spaces on different levels, serves as the multi-level student hub with a spectrum of outdoor / semi-outdoor spaces in different scales and design. Communal spaces and amenity functions are integrated along the Cascade to activate the street to foster interactions. Uses of the communal spaces are highly flexible and allow spatial reconfiguration for temporary and ad-hoc gatherings as well as different functions in a creative way.