Proposal selected by the client, and currently under development for its future construction.
Designed during the professional experience at
The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Harbin Institute of Technology
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Masterplan and conceptual design of the science campus.
Harbin is a city in northeastern China, with an urban nucleus of about 5.000.000 inhabitants. It is known for having the coldest winter amongst large Chinese cities, and in fact one if its main attractions is the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival celebrated in the city every winter.
The city is relatively young ans was founded by the Russians in the 19th Century, as a control outpost for the Transmanchurian Railway, a branch of the Transsiberian that reached Beijing. The Russians would establish various engineering-oriented universities in the city, such as the Harbin Institute of Technology.
Nowadays Harbin, despite being somewhat distant from the other large Chinese conurbations, is an important research and production centre in the technical and scientific fields. In the city we can find companies such as Airbus or the local company Harbin Aircraft Industry Group.
The project consisted in a tech research park that the harbin Institute of Technology wanted to build in the city. Spanning two large city blocks, it had to include offices, six large research spaces, an auditorium, and housing for students and visitors.
The location of the project in two city blocks in a near-orthogonal grid invited to find a disposition that departed from the usual. Furthermore, the client demanded that the conceptual backgroiund have relation with the Harbin Institute of Technology, which is renowned for its aerospatial research.
Working with the premises that the project had to both work and have a conceptual meaning that evoked the scientific research of HIT, a proposal was designed that combined a completely functional and logical masterplan with a strong scientific background deeply related with the Institute. The campus was organized following a scae model of the solar system.
The orbits in the Solar System.
The organization was as follows: At the corner in which the access was desired, a circular auditorium was projected, featuring a central oculus under which, at ground level, was the focal point of all the campus. The Sun. From this point, a linear promenade starts and crosses the two city blocks. The research spaces and residential zone are all along this axis.
The auditorium building radius corresponds with the inner planet orbits, and the outer planet orbits define passages that separate the research centres. These arcs, that articulate all the site, are ventually crossed by other elliptical promenades that imitate the paths of comets in our System, and in the masterplan help define green spaces. For the main promenade, a specific pavement is proposed so that it measures the distance, to scale, that light travels in a minute in the Solar System.
Speaking objectively, the masterplan featores a series of cul-de-sacs as means of access from the perimetral roads. These 'fingers' are alternated with pedestrian spaces that are joined together by both the main green space and the promenade. This way, a pedestrian continuum is achieved and one can move through the campus without needing to cross any motorized street. Furthermore, by means of the main park, this pedestrian continuum is linked to the urban green space system of the city.