The Vertical campus. Tsinghua Ocean Center by Open Architect

PROJECT Tsinghua Ocean Center
ARCHITECT Open Architecture
LOCATION Shenzhen, China
YEAR 2016
PHOTO Zhang Chao, Iwan Baan
AUTHOR Federica RASENTI

The “vertical campus” appears as a composite tower, resulting from the association of almost autonomous volumetric blocks which contain the places for work and research.

Since the late nineties in China, as a direct consequence of the extension of university studies to an increasing number of students, entire districts have rapidly appeared dedicated exclusively to higher education.
A huge variety of projects has overwhelmed the creation process of those buildings which in terms of territorial and population extension may be equated with complex urban realities. The designs of these new university centres have not always been convincing in the sense of formal outcome and have often been lacking in spatial qualities.
In particular, in many cases the role of shared public space, understood as somewhere able to reinterpret and incorporate urban qualities within these training hubs, has been sacrificed among the fabric of the buildings.

The Open Architecture project for the new Tsinghua University Ocean Centre within Shenzhen’s Xili University Town intends to try out a new approach to this theme, absorbing within it a series of spaces dedicated to hospitality and sociability.
The “vertical campus” as defined by the designers themselves, appears as a composite tower, resulting from the association of almost autonomous volumetric blocks which contain the places for work and research.
The areas for establishing relationships between the main activities on the other hand, are the fields in which the places for sharing are inserted; public spaces that aim to enrich the connective tissue of the campus, with which they establish a visual relationship that also extends to the outside through panoramic platforms.

BIOGRAPHY
OPEN WAS FOUNDED BY LI HU AND HUANG WENJING IN NEW YORK CITY. IT ESTABLISHED ITS BEIJING OFFICE IN 2008. OPEN IS A PASSIONATE TEAM OF DESIGNERS COLLABORATING ACROSS DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES TO PRACTICE URBAN DESIGN, LANDSCAPE DESIGN, ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND INTERIOR DESIGN, AS WELL AS THE RESEARCH AND PRODUCTION OF DESIGN STRATEGIES IN THE CONTEXT OF NEW CHALLENGES.

MAIN PROJECTS
UCCA Dune, Qinhuangdao, China, ongoing
Chapel of Sound, Chengde, China, ongoing
Tank Shanghai, Shanghai, China, ongoing
HEX-SYS, Guangzhou, China, 2015
Stepped Courtyards, Fuzhou, China, 2014
Garden School/Beijing No. 4 High School Fangshan
Campus, Beijing, China, 2014
Gehua Youth and Cultural Center, Beidaihe, China, 2012