AIA Hong Kong

Merit Award in Urban Design-Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Guangzhou By Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Guangzho

Guangzhou, China
Research University
1,082,000 m2

Located in Nansha, Guangzhou, the full campus plan will materialize over two phases. The first phase opened in 2022, and combined with phase two, will accommodate more than 10,000 students and faculty and a full range of university facilities. The campus includes housing, teaching and research facilities, athletic spaces, performing arts venues, and amenities. A curved administriation building with a skybridge that offers views into the campus marks the arrival to HKUST Guangzhou, and features a form and firebird sculpture  reminiscent of the unviersity’s Clear Water Bay campus. The specialized facilities converge around  a dynamic, central space to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and engender a strong community. HKUST Guangzhou provides an inspirational
environment for students, faculty, and staff to live, work, and study, establishing a world-leading standard in higher education for future generations  and campuses across China.

Research at the Center of Growth

The campus features the research hub at its center, with flexible lab space and the potential for growth.

The academic and research buildings are designed with respect to the existing nature and flow together to create a campus that encourages multidisciplinary research through collaboration. Putting science on display, the buildings feature glass that increases visibility into the maker spaces and research areas. Along with labs and research facilities, the Academic and Research Hub includes classrooms, offices, social spaces, and cafes, overlapping disciplines and connecting the faculty and staff. The facilities are organized into four sections: function, information, society, and systems. These are further sorted by research topics with flexible spaces that change based on the requirements of the research. The building components are purposefully stacked to utilize the space between the oval pavilions, the two academic concourses, and the eight research wings. The central courtyard is also home the most representative facades on campus, which maintain views and daylight for academic spaces while pursuing the highest levels of performance and comfort, beyond CGBL 3 star requirements.

A Living Lab for Carbon Neutrality

The project applies 6 key principles to create the sustainable campus of tomorrow

The guiding goal of the design was to create a campus that allows for constant improvement, becoming fully carbon neutral before 2060, in time with China’s country-wide goal. A long-term approach to decision making permeates the project, prioritizing the successful implementation of foundational features that cannot be easily altered. This ensures the possible integration of future amendments through a strong base. The HKUST design also recognizes the need to reconcile functional and economic requirements, informed by sustainability frameworks such as China Green Building (CGBL) and LEED. Design strategies around carbon, energy, water, mobility, waste and wellbeing have been implemented according to these rules. The living lab is informed by data from hundreds of sensors around campus that measure energy use, air quality, light, and temperature, routed to a central hub where it’s available to researchers and operations staff alike.

Resiliency and the Local Environment

The design works with the local environment, embracing flooded landscapes.

The campus is located in a coastal region on a site that features three drainage canals To ensure their continuous operation, essential laboratory buildings were raised above grade to remain dry even in a 200-year flood event. Other buildings feature a flood-resilient ground floor designed to survive occasional inundation. Landscaping features such as rain gardens and bioswales, accounting for over 50% of all planted surfaces, retain all of the campus’s stormwater onsite. In the challenging hot and humid climate of Guangzhou, it became a central goal of the project to create a vibrant network of outdoor spaces that stays comfortable even as local temperatures rise. A variety of shading and passive ventilation measures expand comfort hours outdoors, including architectural and tree cover for over 20% of outdoor spaces.