Architecture is an art which combines visual beauty and practical usage. The style of architecture in any city fully reflects its cultural features, and this is the impression modern architecture in universities of Hong Kong gives to its visitors.
As one of the most prestigious and traditional schools of Hong Kong, Diocesan Boys' College was founded in 1869 and now has separate junior and primary divisions, the latter founded in 2004. The designer showed full respect for the existing traditional buildings on campus. However, he also used modern elements in the new division, leading to attracting views of the stadium, swimming pool, dormitories and glass pavilion.
A variety of trees have been planted across the campus in primary division. As a place where students will create memories, different corners of the school are meant to leave them with different feelings. For e.g. the ground floor of the main building is low on purpose so that its second floor can be connected with the lawns and thus complement the junior division. To protect the three old big trees on the campus of the primary division, the designer changed its plane coordinates when building the flyover, making enough space for the branches, traffic lanes, as well as fire emergency channels.
The outer wall of the New Section has been painted grey and white, and its interior is decorated with slabs, oak planks and glass. The Glass Pavilion preserves its previous style as an atrium, but has an improved convection design which brings in more light and natural wind. It is also more environmentally – friendly since the tree shades reduce the demands for an air-conditioner.
In 1963, three higher learning colleges amalgamated to form the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Established at the foot of hills and by the seaside, the campus has been praised as one of the most beautiful in Asia, the aesthetics intensified by the numerous flora and fauna around it. A distinguished cultural atmosphere sets the university apart.
As the headquarters for the School of Architecture, the main building is square and straight in its appearance, but has strong designing inside. Since there is only one path between the main building and the other two functional buildings, the designer adopted the concept of community windows to bring the three together. With flexible and creative usage of atrium and multi-floor platform, the new cluster of blocks is certainly visually beautiful - with various adjustable and creative spaces for study and activities.
Sustainable concepts were clearly in the designer’s mind when making plans for the building’s foundation and outer walls. Natural light is drawn from different directions in accordance with the actual environment, to stop the heat and noise. The skylight of the atrium was built with solar panels, to not only provide light but also electricity to the building. The roof garden was designed to reduce absorption of solar radiation by the buildings.
Founded in 1937, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is a renowned public institution for comprehensive learning. The Jockey Club Innovation Tower (JCIT) is home to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) School of Design and the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation.
The 15-storey, 15,000 sq. m. tower accommodates more than 1,800 students and staff, with facilities for design education and innovation including: design studios, labs and workshops, exhibition areas, multi-functional classrooms, lecture theatre and communal lounge. Located on a narrow, irregular site at the northeastern tip of the university campus, the JCIT is connected to the heart of the campus thanks to its outstanding design, and has became a special landmark of Poly U campus, bordered by the university’s football ground to the south, and the Kowloon Corridor motorway interchange to the north.
Designed by Zaha Hadid, the JCIT helps to connect different design projects in the School and to encourage interaction between the many learning clusters and design disciplines. It has managed to create an atmosphere of collective research at the campus.
Established in 2007, under the special support of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, the Hong Kong Design Institute has been set up to provide professional training for innovative talent. Construction for the school’s 4.2 thousand square meters of campus was completed in 2010. Praised as a “City Lounge,” its main building is basically a huge square block located high above, where surrounding views including the inner green spaces and the external city views complement each other. Covered by white glass and named as “White Sheet,” the building floats in the air like a sky city and connects the library, administrative sections and all other parts of the campus. This expresses the HKDI’s multi-disciplinary objectives, together with its high tower and vertical structure.
Architectures with distinctive features of modernity and innovation bring new vigor to these institutions, proving that the role of educational institutions in modern times is not only to conduct knowledge sharing and academic exchanges, but also to be a place of practicality and beauty, both inner and outer.
Translated by Wu Jinying
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