Moore Ruble Yudell and Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute of Shanghai have been selected as the winning team in an invited international competition to design WenzhouKean University’s new College of Architecture and Design, announced Christopher Chan, principal of Moore Ruble Yudell. WenzhouKean University is a partnership of American and Chinese institutions, with a new campus in Zhejiang Province currently in development under a master plan originally designed by Michael Graves. Intended to represent the spirit and vision of the university, the College of Architecture and Design is located at the front of the campus, presiding over its formal entry quad with a grand portico.
The team’s winning concept places programmed spaces, such as classrooms, shops, and labs, into four parallel twostory bars at the ground level, with alleys/galleries between them to enhance community interaction as well as bring in natural light and ventilation. Atop these volumes rest two more twostory bars, set at angles to each other in order to capture views of the campus and its central lake. These upper volumes house openplan studios for architecture and design and also frame a central atrium, the Forum.
“The lower bars of rusticated stone and concrete, framing the alleys between them, are inspired by traditional Chinese neighborhoods,” says John Ruble, partner of Moore Ruble Yudell. “The two upper studio bars are lightfilled volumes. Enclosed by translucent panels and glass curtain wall, they tilt and align to other campus elements, creating a dynamic presence on the campus.”
At the center of the building is the Forum. This consists of large terraced seating and stairs that link the lower functions to the upper studios, serving as the main circulation between the levels while also accommodating campuswide events with seating for up to 900 people. “The president of the university envisions the Forum to be the major campus venue for lectures and conferences across all disciplines,” says Chan. “This puts the College of Architecture and Design at the center of university community.”
In accord with China’s plans to reduce its energy intensity by 2020 by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels, the proposed design will incorporate passive design principles, minimizing solar heat gain via optimal building orientation, façade shading systems, natural ventilation, and daylighting. Rooftop photovoltaics, ice thermal energy storage, heat pumps, and thermal mass will reduce energy use. Roof gardens will capture storm water, which will be directed to the campus system of canals and a central lake.
Kean University, a public university in New Jersey, and Wenzhou University, a public university in China’s Zhejiang province, launched WenzhouKean University in 2012, and just celebrated its first graduating class. The new School of Architecture and Design in Wenzhou is projected to be completed in 2018.