In 2009 a prestigious American Foundation and Jiao Tong University invited Kokaistudios to design the building for the new faculty of law in a prestigious location of the historical campus of the University in the center of Shanghai.
This particular site being characterized by an important historical and symbolic role for the city and at the same time by a strong natural environment required considerable effort in terms of design in order to find architectural answers that could satisfy in a harmonious way all the requirements of the various stakeholders. The site is rich of historical buildings with wonderful face brick facades and the surroundings of the new building are full of protected trees that create a complex environmental system the relation with which forms the starting point of our design approach. The new building for the University is also the chance to set a different standard of living and working for the future including a deep study on instruments to increase the sustainability and the energy efficiency of these public projects in China.
The building concept is to divide the functions in two areas, lower part with public areas and library represented by the concentration of pillars that support like trees woods the upper part of the classrooms and offices enclosed in a large solid volume. Particular attention has been kept in selecting material and composition of design in order to establish a strong dialogue with the existing mood of the university characterized by historical preserved building in red bricks.
For this reason have been selected a range of materials such as red bricks cement plasters and different reflection glasses so to give a modern interpretation to the original historical mood of the university and to create a feeling of harmony and historical continues with the environment. The composition is intentionally modern so to underline the natural instinct to progress and contemporary of the university and to give to the campus a new landmark symbol of the future.
In order to provide natural daylight to the first floor of the basement and to be able to increase the sqm of usable area it has been designed a sinking garden that outcome for 6meters from the building redline. The garden has been designed in a way to provide a calm and relaxing environment facing the library, perfect location for meeting and meditation.
On the west termination of the garden it has been planned an outdoor theater sheltered by the building so to offer the possibility to host small shows and at the same time refreshing shelter during the summer season. Particular attention has been reserved to the natural ventilation of this area in a way that the air shall naturally flow from north to south bringing fresh breeze from the trees and the water in order to give a natural comfort to the public.
The functional plan is studied with extreme attention in order to give answers to the needs of today and at the same flexibility to the needs of the future. The entrances are clearly defined between public on the west side of the building connecting to classrooms auditorium and mood court on second and third floor and to the library in the basement.
On the east side of the building shall be located a more private entrance connecting to the last floor of the offices for professors, staff and VIP’s. The entrance shall have also independent entrance for cargo loading able to serve efficiently the entire building. On the roof a large garden shall complete the environmental attitude of the project by offering a panoramic view of the park and at the same time an efficient energy saving insulation to the building.