HDR was recently chosen by Nanjing University to provide conceptual and schematic design services, as well as a masterplan, for its new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences building. The facility will house four academic departments (material science and engineering; quantum electronics and optical engineering; biomedical engineering; and energy science and engineering), six interdisciplinary research centers, a state-of-the-art conference center, as well as common areas for student and faculty gatherings. The building, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will be over 650,000 square feet and accommodate more than 1,600 students and faculty on a daily basis. More architects’ description after the break.
“This building will be the first of its kind in the country,” said Yong Sun, HDR’s director of operations for the Asian Pacific region. “This is an exciting opportunity for HDR to work with Nanjing University to help them become the best in the world in science and engineering.” This university is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China.
“HDR’s expertise in designing academic science and technology buildings was spot on for this project,” comments Dr. Shuming Nie, the dean of engineering at Nanjing University. “The firm was chosen for its technical excellence and ability to create an environment that promotes broad collaboration in science, engineering and medicine.”
Brian Kowalchuk, director of design at HDR, notes that “the challenge with this project is to create an iconic and memorable image for the University’s science and engineering program that also functions efficiently at an international standard. In addition to modular and flexible teaching labs, the building will incorporate gathering destinations for multi-disciplinary collaboration among students, faculty and industry partners,” he said.
Kowalchuk further explains that “science crosses political and physical boundaries, but it is still essential that the building follow Eastern principles of design and embrace the local culture.” Initial design concepts bring together four academic departments to share resources and create the opportunity for new synergies in “a forward-looking expression of the engineering programs,” said Kowalchuk.