Ronald Lu & Partners recently unveiled designs for the new bioclimatic Technological and Higher Education Institute (THEi) in Hong Kong. The community-oriented twin tower design was informed by environmentally friendly and energy-saving principles. In recognition of these creative and eco-friendly features, the sustainable campus was awarded the Grand Prize at the Green Building Awards 2014.
The THEi design was built around the goal of integrating the new campus into the existing urban fabric. Thus, the architects introduced a twin-block design to open the campus up to the neighboring public green space as well as to the prevailing summer winds for natural ventilation. The campus’ lower floors are open to the public for shared use with the neighborhood while the upper floors are used exclusively by the institute. The architects used two different architectural styles to express the different programming: the shared facilities have a more organic form, whereas the upper levels take on a simple rectilinear shape.
To soften the building’s impact on the landscape, the architects covered the campus with an abundance of greenery, including green roofs and outdoor landscaped terraces. The building has a north-south orientation to maximize light permeability, natural ventilation, and to preserve sight lines. The campus, which is slated for completion in 2016, will also introduce 30,000 new trees to the neighborhood upon completion.