CUHK’s Centralized Labs Wins Hong Kong Institute of Architects Award
The Chinese University’s new Centralized Science Laboratories Building (Centralized Labs) has won the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) Merit Award — Community Building. The jury gave credit to its good site planning and attempt to go for expericmentation in façade design.
The Centralized Science Laboratories Building has cutting-edge research facilities and a variety of energy-saving and ecology-sensitive designs. The building is located on a hillside on Central Campus of The Chinese University, overlooking Tai Po Road to the south and connecting to the Science Centre to the north. It has a gross floor area of some 11,000 square metres. Five of the storeys will house over 70 laboratories purpose-designed for advanced research by the Science and Medical Faculties, as well as a range of other facilities.
The Centralized Labs is the first building in Hong Kong that caters for scientific experimental needs from day one of its design and that complies strictly with international standards. The University began planning for the building a few years ago. A Building Committee, set up under the Campus Planning Committee, conducted a tender exercise and appointed the UK-based architectural firm RMJM Hong Kong Limited for the job. The Building Committee also met frequently with the building’s future users to learn about their needs and expectations. The present design was chosen for functional considerations, harmony with the natural terrain and respect for the surrounding environment. Throughout the construction process, the committee continued to monitor the quality and progress.
The Centralized Labs is an innovative research building in terms of safety, energy conservation and user-friendliness. From the choice of construction materials and design of laboratory facilities, to the lighting, air-conditioning and exhaust systems, it strives to maximize user safety and comfort while conserving energy. Its layout is also conducive to interaction among different academic specialities and scholars.
The HKIA praised the Centralized Labs for setting out to be an icon against the hillside landscape of the university campus and it can definitely achieve that purpose. The jury commended on the siting of the building and gave appraisal to the experimental direction of adopting the concept of the periodic table in chemistry to the coloured façade.