Groundbreaking takes place today for the new campus of Chu Hai College of Higher Education in Hong Kong, designed by OMA. The campus will facilitate encounters between students from different departments in verdant surroundings, and offer a new identity for the college. The campus will open its doors in 2013.
Partner in charge David Gianotten comments: "We are excited about this unique project, which will provide 4,000 students with a new, inspiring, and friendly study environment. We are honoured to be part of the start of this new campus in Hong Kong." The campus, with a gross floor area of 28,000 sq m, consists of two parallel horizontal buildings, each eight storeys high, offering flexible spaces for classrooms, studios, and offices.
The two slabs are connected by communal facilities such as a library, cafeteria, gym, and lecture theatres. On top, a shaded area of steps, platforms, and ramps act as a circulation system between the various educational and social facilities. The aerated structural facade gives a visual unity for the campus, and allows both views into the inner workings of the buildings and, from the inside, views out over Castle Peak Bay, the sea and the surrounding hills. The slabs are oriented to maximise natural ventilation, reducing air conditioning demands and contributing to an efficient, sustainable design.
OMA, together with Leigh & Orange Architects, won the competition for the new campus in January 2010. Currently, OMA's offices in Hong Kong are also overseeing, among other projects, the new headquarters for CCTV in Beijing, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre. CCTV and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange are due for completion in 2012, and groundbreaking of Taipei Performing Arts Centre is scheduled for January 2012.