Fluidity of form

Sian
Friday 26 Feb 2010

Rocco Design Architects' vision for a dynamic school that sets thinking in motion

The aim of the design is two-fold: to fuse the architecture with the movement pattern of the HK Poly-U campus, and to create and merge internal spaces that become continuous and thus conducive to interaction.

The essence of the design is about fluidity of movements; movement that breaks horizontal barriers; movement that leads to interaction and sense of community; movement through a diversity of spatial volumes that stimulates and invigorates design impetus. The site is an extremely small ‘left-over’ triangular open space adjacent to a football field and a campus boulevard on a raised podium. The bold building form reflects the shape of the site and the fluid movement strategies: intricate slanting floor plates and terraced studio spaces are arranged in a continuous triangular spiral that seamlessly links the boulevard and football field at different levels. Resembling in concept and form to a paper clip, the new School of Design creates seamless movements that bind programs and spaces together.

Horizontal barriers of traditional discrete walled classroom spaces are broken by re-interpreting the building as a continuous and ever-changing dynamic program spectrum, with flexible spaces defined by stepped terraces and gentle ramps for barrier free environment. The complex programs, including Teaching and Learning spaces, Media Innovation Centre, Research Labs, Multimedia Entrepreneurial Creative Laboratory, and Public Orientated Spaces, are arranged in a strict hierarchy in ascending privacy level requirement with the most public spaces located at the lowest level. By eliminating walls between classrooms, programs can now flexibly expand or contract along the fluid terraced learning space according to needs.

Catalysts containing communal programs such as lecture theatres, auditorium and material library are sandwiched and defined by the triangular spiral. Movement within the spiral learning space allows views and access to the various activities in the catalyst, allowing students to experience a diversity of spatial volumes that stimulates and sparks off infinite creativity.

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