Scandinavian firm wins design contest in China

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has won first place in an international competition to design the 25,000 m² Student Centre & Library at the Wenzhou-Kean University in Wenzhou, China.

The university is set on 500 acres in a rural mountainous region, and provides living and learning space for 8,500 students. The Student Centre & Library will be located at the heart of the university and create a central hub for student activities on campus.

Wenzhou-Kean University, established in 2006, is jointly run by Wenzhou University and Kean University, which is located in New Jersey. The purpose of the cooperation is to merge Chinese and American teaching methods in practice from a global context.

The winning library design was chosen because it embraces diversity, interaction and knowledge sharing. The new building will connect education spaces located on the south end of campus with student residences in the north.

The exterior of the student centre will appear as four stacked rectangular shapes. The building is wrapped in semi-transparent glass that features a fritted pattern. The façade was inspired by the location’s mountainous terrain and vernacular bamboo construction that is commonly found in the city’s historic architecture.

The student activity centre will be located on the ground and second level of the building and designed as a central marketplace. The fully-accessible facility will feature spaces for a café, theatre, dance and music studios, exhibition space, sports and games, as well as spaces for informal meetings. Stairs and bridges in the atrium will connect the upper levels, which will house the library and study spaces. The library will feature a 300-seat lecture hall and study space.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is one of Scandinavia’s major firms known for their designs in the educational and public industries. They have been active in Asia for nearly 10 years.

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