In a country noted for its rich cultural history and increasingly adventurous cityscapes, it makes sense that a new addition to an international university campus would reference the past and at the same time celebrate the excitement of the new.
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University was jointly founded by Xi'an Jiaotong University China and the University of Liverpool UK. The new Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Administration Information Building designed by architectural firm Aedas is the figurehead for the campus, which is set on the Suzhou Industrial Park, says design director on the project Andy Wen.
"Given its prominence on the new campus, this building needed a design that would be exciting yet thoughtful. The strong cuboid shape with its dramatic cutouts took inspiration from the Taihu stone, sometimes referred to in China as the scholar's stone this rock is much like limestone, but with characteristic pores and holes that are formed by erosion over time.
"For the Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Administration Building, the gaps and holes of the Taihu stone are transformed into a void structure with pedestrian spaces that link up the various disciplines and provide places for interaction.
"The building houses four distinct entities: an administration centre, a learning and resource centre, a training centre and a student activities centre," says Wen. "These interlock within the building, much like a 3-D puzzle. Having different roles, these entities required separation as well as connection, and the voids perform this function as well. Three of the four centres have their own dedicated entrances into the building."