Location: Chengdu, China
Program: University Campus
Built Area: 504,000 m²
Client: Tian Fu College of SWUFE
Status: Ph1 280,000 m², Completed │ Ph2 under construction
My most challenging yet rewarding work in China, the project allowed a major re-thinking of a dominant communist campus planning and architecture. A great degree of credit toward success of the project goes to Professor Pu the Dean and Chairman of Tianfu College at SWUFE.
Mr. Pu, a well-traveled academician, unsatisfied with an earlier design scheme had approached us for reworking the design to give the project a “North American” character. The vague description was soon followed by images of New Gothic architecture he captured over his visit to several American universities.
I along with my partner Sima had to push for a more meaningful rethinking of campus. We were up to challenging the very notion of power and control, indistinguishable from the Soviet institutional architecture, which was the back bone of every educational structure in mainland China.
The process was to enable a migration from grand to intimate, controlled to relinquished, from order to disorder and from high to low and from harsh edge to seamless transitions and from predictable to unpredictable.