A forward-thinking teaching environment

06 Jun 2014

Zhejiang University School of Management reflects changing attitudes to learning

Woods Bagot’s first major education project in mainland China is a new School of Management of 55,000 sqm at Zhejiang University. The institution was founded in 1897, making it one of the earliest modern academies of higher education in China.

The Zhejiang University School of Management’s new tertiary campus looks to promote wellbeing and nurture the next generation of business leaders through an inspirational green learning landscape.

As an educational facility for the next generation of leaders in China, the design responds to generational change, with spatial decisions made based around fostering the most effective environment for students so they can be at peak performance while learning.

Research shows that students are now more agile, smart, diverse, tolerant and fast. They need a choice of spaces that are collaborative, fun, fast, and customisable. The design of the School of Management focuses on a shift from one-directional to multi-directional learning, creating a diversity of spaces and encouraging the notion that learning is everywhere.

Learning vessels are connected to the landscape of Hangzhou - a city known for its natural, green spaces - with a number of outdoor spaces designed for small and large teaching groups. A permeable ground plane also integrates and blends indoor and outdoor learning, creating a green environment for a social exchange of ideas.

The buildings themselves are arranged as a vertical structure, with three zones - public, invited and private - stacked on top of each other, requiring academics to move through invited and public spaces to encourage serendipitous encounters. 

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