Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Administration & Information Centre / Aedas

image courtesy Aedas, ltd
image courtesy , ltd

Architects: Andy Wen – Aedas
Location: Suzhou, PRC,
Project team: Larry Wen, Johnson Ma, Kevin Wang, David Fung, Kevin Yan, Hui Liu, Jessica Cao, Lily Xin, Anthony Ruan, Weiwei Wei, Huiying Huang & Elizabeth Tse
Client: Suzhou Industrial Park Education Development & Investment Company
Civil Engineer: Suzhou Architecture Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
Design year: 2008
Rendering: Silkroad Digital Technology Co., Ltd

wind flow diagram
wind flow diagram

Being part of the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University new campus, Aedas project Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Administration & Information Centre has been honoured by the Architecture Award of the Asia Pacific Commercial Property Awards 2009. The project is designed by Andy Wen, Design Director of China.

diagrams 02
Taihu Stone diagram

The Administration & Information Centre is situated in a beautiful environment inside Suzhou Industrial Park, where there is a harmonious coexistence of the city’s rich cultural traditions and its rapid economic development with convenient traffic. It has a complicated program consisting of administration centre, learning and resources centre, training centre and student activities centre. All of the programs are connected by the voids inside the building following the concept of Taihu stone, the ornamental stone used for decorating traditional Chinese gardens.

image courtesy Aedas, ltd
image courtesy Aedas, ltd

Eroded over time by wind and water this limestone is found on dozens of islands and along miles of shoreline surrounding the Taihu lake located on the west side of the city of Suzhou. The stone is found in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes and was appreciated by the Chinese scholars during the ancient time. As such the voids have become the functional spaces which allow the building to interact with the surrounding environment and become a vessel which attracts people to go inside.

image courtesy Aedas, ltd
image courtesy Aedas, ltd

The Administration & Information Centre is adjacent to the two main promenade axes in the campus. The laboratories are located on the east side and the classroom building on the north. It will be a dynamic gathering space in the future.

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Administration & Information Centre / Aedas" 05 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=39697>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    nice concept….but where is context ???…this building can be anywhere in the world…on any site !!!….sounds like iconic building

    • Thumb up Thumb down +1

      another kid, talking about context. Listen, the context for them is the fact that there is no context. The site is almost like brand new. Open up your eyes, kido. Responding to context is an idea. Going against the context is also an idea. In architecture, responding to context is not a rule but an idea. Maybe you heard too much about context at school from your professors and critics.

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        What do you mean kido, there’s no context? There’s a big traffic intersection, a waterway and a social housing project of some sort. My child, if that is not context, what is?

      • Thumb up Thumb down +1

        Gorgos, did you not notice that the housing or whatever units are part of the masterplan? They are not pre-exisiting. Haha, you did not even see something that is so obvious.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    dont you guys think it looks like a building by Herzog and de Meuron? cant remember which one, the best is the interior space render!!

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    got it looks like the H&DM river tunes, Elbe philharmonic hall on the outside and the inside like a Ghery project, men hope it gets built but its so hard to see this two opposite stiles together.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the porosity of the rock as an inspiration for the form is perfect for building trying to engage its people. Very cool and very smart.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Im getting an uneasy feeling when studying this project. There are too many things going on that look too random giving an overall messy result.

    I dont get the base-part of the project, and I dont get it why there’s a cube on top. The context of the setting certainly doesnt seem to justify it.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    using a physical attribute of an object, not its immanent characteristic… as a concept is an easy out.

    that design firm will design a building that looks like an apple if they design mac.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The rock concept layered in different activity zones is a bit overboard….and injecting green stuff (it’s the in thing though) is just not convincing…its time these guys start showing the built stuff now…….

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I like the contrast berween the harsh, box like exterior form and the natural curved, free flowing interior. Nice Work!

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Aedes, this is the second project i see on Archdaily. Please… send some details and show the actual quality. Nice pics are not enough, convince the community the well-thought concept will work in a real world environment. Diagrams are empty without thinking about the men and women constructing the building. Ever thought about water seaming into the cladding? Yes, everything is solvable, any problem is to be cleared in the process… but please… show it!

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Brian, I think this one will fit better in Prague… just make a few changes and I’ll give you the A

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The concept of limestone may fit there, but the large cube doesn’t. It needs more space around it or some other solution, that makes it less dominating over the area.
    The desing is still beautiful.

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