The City University of Hong Kong required a new teaching and administration building in its campus in Kowloon to accommodate its expanding intake of students in light of the new 3/3/4 teaching structure. Four key principles drove RLP’s design solution for the building, working with the set parameters of location and height for a tower; maintaining a level green deck across the sloping site, activating the circulation spaces, embedding sustainable design to create a green icon against the backdrop of Lion Rock, and lifting the ground plane to enhance permeability and natural environment at street level.
The green deck connects the dormitory in the northern campus to the university core, and grows from two to four storeys as it progresses toward Cornwall Street. Beneath the open park at roof level - the “Forest of Intellect” which provides informal meeting space and amenities - the podium accommodates teaching rooms and a 600 seat lecture theatre at its southern tip. By raising the podium above ground level, pedestrian access from the street to the park beyond also gives the public a greater natural resource to enjoy.
At 12 storeys above the podium, the tower is the tallest structure in the area and is visually divided into two complimentary parts to minimise the impact of its mass, but also to programmatically separate its functions between teaching labs at the low levels and administrative offices at the higher levels. The administration building contains the board council and Vice Chancellor’s offices, and contains two sky courts giving prime views and function spaces one overlooking the Kowloon City, the other onto Tat Chee Avenue.
More than just functional facilities, the new building on Tat Chee Avenue has given the university an iconic new centre for both its students and staff, vastly improved public amenities and circulation and has provided the university campus with a new prominent green space.