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Gu Zhihong Studio, AATU：Plant Protection Building of China Agriculture University (short as CAU) is located at a square site in the southeast corner of CAU west campus, with a construction area of 14000 square meters and a construction area of 42000 square meters. The building is close to Old Summer Palace Nature Reserve, with limited height control. The height of the building should not exceed 18 meters, and the number of building floors cannot exceed four. Due to the limitation of building height and site size, the whole site is relatively tight.
New buildings in the old campus are usually full of limitations. This project tries to look inward and explore the internal space rules of this educational building according to local conditions, so as to form a new building image that not only guarantees the high quality of architectural space, but also integrates into the existing campus environment, at the same time, reflects the clear temperament of scientific research architecture.
An introverted “C”-shaped architectural layout
To achieve a high FAR building layout, it is a process of searching and digging inward. The site is located in the southeast corner of China Agricultural University, about 105 meters wide in east-west direction and 125 meters long in north-south direction. According to the depth size of the laboratory, combined with the surrounding environment, a kind of introverted “C” building layout was determined. Thickening the courtyard facing one side of the campus, arranging some large space rooms, the whole layout opens inward in the west, and arranges the sunken square on the underground floor, which strengthens the sense of territory and belonging of the courtyard space.
▼向内开放的院落空间 Inward open courtyard space.
The whole courtyard is rich in space and open to the inside. The square white box is a leisure space open to the courtyard, and the round red-brick volume is a lecture hall starting from the basement. The superposition of round and square space enriches the space of the whole courtyard. The interest of the courtyard are reflected by the mutual contrast of these round and square, high and low, red and white, void and solid space, presenting a rich and humanized architectural quality with modern scientific research atmosphere.
▼方与圆叠加的报告厅体量——清晨、下午与夜晚 Volume of lecture hall superimposed by square and circle – early morning, afternoon and night.
“Take the professor as the center” to find the best spatial combination mode
This project mainly considers that the main behavior mode of university building is to carry out high-end scientific research around professors. By looking inward for the functional combination form that adapts to this mode, the project forms the best spatial combination mode of “taking professor as the center”, that is, taking the professor’s office as the core, layout PI seminar room and laboratory around it, form the basic experimental units and arranging in series along the corridor. In this mode, the scientific research groups of professors are more independent, which reduces the travel distance between different functional areas, increases the interactions between professors and students, maximizes the value of professors, promotes the growth of students, improves the efficiency, and is conducive to the communication and building of the research team.
▼立体丰富的院落空间 Three-dimensional courtyard space.
Look inward for a green experimental building layout by combining active and passive sustainability
Experimental teaching buildings are prone to produce all kinds of experimental gases, which will lead to indoor odor accumulation and affect the indoor scientific research environment if not handled properly. By looking inward for the active and passive green experimental building layout mode, this project introduces the green environmental protection technology into the project to maximize natural lighting and ventilation, and create a comfortable and healthy interior space for the building.
▼方与圆叠加的报告厅体量 Volume of lecture hall superimposed by square and circle.
In the position facing the dominant wind in summer, a bell-shaped air vent is designed in combination with the interior space, which brings the natural wind into the building and courtyard in an optimized way. Building facades utilize the narrow mouth effect to optimize the window opening and improve the indoor air flow. Combined with the sunken plaza, part of the ground floor rooms can be lighted directly, which further improves the lighting conditions of the building as a whole.
The introverted form of Architectural facade– “Dance of Brick”
China Agricultural University has a long history of the old campus building, by different periods of face brick masonry, forming a unique campus cultural atmosphere. In order to integrate into the existing campus space, not only take into account the campus context, but also reflect the inheritance and innovation, the building facade presents a kind of “introverted” architectural character. Choosing brick as the material, combined with the characteristics of the brick, excavated the possibility that the brick can be used as a decorative material.
▼面砖的舞蹈 Dance of Bricks.
First of all, different dimension of the bricks are combined to do some concave and convex treatment on the interlayer wall, change of the width of the bump, adjust the arrangement of the brick, and then increase the color change of the brick. This kind of design breaks through the attribute of the face brick as a “layer”, makes it a three-dimensional and thick feeling, makes the whole facade like “dance of the brick”, and make the brick has depth and vitality.
▼融入已有校园环境的新建筑 New buildings integrated into the existing campus environment.
The red brick echoes the campus context, and the “dance of the brick” makes the newly built teaching building have a unique personality, reflecting the flavor of new time experimental building. This implicit and introverted architectural quality is consistent with the scientific research spirit of the senior intellectuals we look for inward.
▼新老建筑交融，左侧为中国农业大学已建建筑 New and old buildings echo each other. On the left is the existing building of China Agricultural University.
This project does not deliberately pursue the external looking, but find the design idea and solutions from looking inward to the environment, function, and users. In this way, the campus space could be improved and the history and the future of the campus could be balanced.
▼首层平面图 Ground Floor Plan
▼二层平面图 1st Floor Plan
项目设计时间：2013.10 – 2014.07
Project Name: Plant Protection Building of China Agriculture University
Design: Gu Zhihong Studio, AATU
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company location: 806, Tianda Design Institute, No.192, Anshan West Road, Nankai District, Tianjin
Design: October 2013–July 2014
Completion: May 2018
Area: 42,000 m2
Location: China Agricultural University, 2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing
Chief architect: Gu Zhihong
Contact email: email@example.com
Design team: Gu Zhihong, Chen Qian, Zhang Jian, Li Xiaoqing, Chi Xiangzheng, Song Ruiqi, Mei Nan, Liang Weijia and Wang Teli
Client: China Agricultural University
Structural design: Tianjin University Design Institute
Construction: Jiangsu Construction Engineering Group Co., Ltd.
Photographer: Chen Su
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