Chinese Academy of Arts Campus in Liangzhu / Atelier FCJZ
Towards a new mode of education. Liangzhu is a district of Hangzhou city where the new campus of the Chinese Academy of Arts (CAA) is located. In Liangzhu, this art-based comprehensive university plans to have four academic divisions, which are the College of Innovative Design, the College of Arts Management, the College of Basic Education and the College of Continuing Education and will accommodate 3000 students. full-time and 1000 continuing education courses. students. The four main objectives of this new campus include the development of innovative interdisciplinary talent; promote design and the information economy; integrate artificial intelligence technology; and set another benchmark for teaching contemporary design. At the campus design competition stage, CAA asked participating architects to imagine an education system that would meet the mandates given.
We have understood that deciding on a major upon entering college is no longer the best way for higher education today and have proposed a conceptual framework for learning which is defined by the following: 1. Use the head and hands. Every student, regardless of discipline or concentration, must take courses that engage manufacturing, from drawing / painting to design / architecture, as part of the foundations. 2. Courses as research projects for the advanced level, which allow students to acquire skills for working in interdisciplinary teams and solving real world problems. 3. Abolish departments so that knowledge is not compartmentalized.
Architecture that teaches. Continuing the important programming exercise mentioned above, we believe that architecture can and should be part of the education system. What type of space for a campus is capable of facilitating creation and experimentation as well as encouraging students to interact with each other in and out of class to foster collaboration? While traditional classrooms are still needed, Liangzhu’s primary teaching-learning space is redefined as an open, continuous studio, where lessons can take place and students can individually or collectively read, write, draw. , build, discuss or debate.
In this space, all activity on campus is visible, which means that a student can be constantly aware of what others are working on while pursuing their interests. We hope to blur teaching and learning, research and practice in this particular school environment, whose vaulted spaces would allow abundant natural light, large-scale installations as well as events, such as lectures and performances by theater / dance.
Learn-Live. In Liangzhu, the students live on the studio floor. The vertical layered system of the dormitory, social space and studios creates an architecture that embodies the concept of “college as community” where students live and study under one roof. In the dormitories, spaces are made available to students for themselves to organize “leisure clubs”, which are a form of self-taught course. We hope to convey to students the notion of living is learning, which forms the basic ideas of this campus design with the studios.
In many ways, CAA Liangzhu is an open project. Incoming students were invited to imagine the ways in which they will engage with the architectural spaces of this campus in a workshop to make the campus their own.
A building. Since there are no separate areas for the teaching facilities and living quarters typical of a college campus, all buildings in Liangzhu are connected by covered walkways and conceptually woven into a single piece of architecture. Due to the habit of hanging laundry in dormitory balconies, this mixed-use spatial arrangement calls for a more orderly appearance than usual for dormitories. A continuous metal grid is thus designed on the outside of the building to screen the laundry as well as the air conditioners while serving as a sunshade.
On the rooftops of the dormitories, we have designed a series of semi-outdoor spaces called “visors”, which aim to further enrich life on the Liangzhu campus. For construction management purposes, the CAA Liangzhu project was planned in two phases. The first phase ended in July 2021 and classes started in September of the same year. The entire campus is expected to open in 2023.