The Library Extension Wins the FuturArc Green Leadership Award
The Library Extension (Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Building) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has recently won the ‘FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2016 (Merit Award – Institutional)’, over more than 70 other green building projects in Asia Pacific, with its sustainability and green building concept. The CUHK team and its building is the only architectural project from Hong Kong to receive this award for this year.
‘FuturArc Green Leadership Award’ is a well-known architecture award in Asia. Launched in 2009 by FuturArc Journal, the award strives to promote quality green design. The jury consists of world-renowned architects, scholars and other professionals. They precisely select green buildings with innovative concepts and present awards to project teams in recognition of their effort to promote green buildings.
The winning projects this year come from Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and other South East Asian countries. The projects clearly express the concepts of sustainable development, respect the natural environment and landscape, integrate the nearby environment and utilise the local building technology and materials. In these ways, they try to develop a people-oriented living space and provide a healthy and comfortable living environment. The jury believes that “beauty…is not, as commonly assumed, a matter of style or composition. A project must tell the story of where it is, of people and space.” It tallies with the building concepts of the Library Extension – “Preservation and Development” and “Harmony between Nature and Human”.
The Library Extension annexes to the iconic University Library. With its simple and unadorned style, the building preserves the architectural integrity of the central axis on University Mall and the adjacent landmarks, including the Roman-style garden ‘Forum’ and the ‘Beacon’ (on which the sculpture ‘Gate of Wisdom’ stands). Moreover, underground space was developed in the project. The library’s once dark basement has been turned into a colourful Learning Garden, with glittering light coming through the glass ceiling under the pool of the Forum. At night, the building lights up as a great guiding lamp for students on campus.
When expanding the library, CUHK also attached importance to conservation and requested to preserve the landmark – The University Piazza. Garden features were surveyed and restored to their original appearances after the basement construction. The historical façade of the University Library is also preserved to become a feature wall in the new library interior. To minimise the impact on the house swifts, CUHK invited consultants to carry out a study of the birds and was suggested to incorporate bird-friendly façade glazing for the Library Extension and install artificial nests nearby to allow birds migration to the south façade of the University Library.
Mr. Fung Siu-man, Director of Campus Development of CUHK is gratified by the award. He appreciates the cooperation between CUHK staff and students and the professional project team to contribute to sustainable development of the campus. Being responsible for the campus development of CUHK, Mr. Fung has a strong sense of responsibility for preserving the natural environment as well as taking care of the well-being of the CUHK community. When developing the sustainable campus, the Estate Management Office also conducts regular checks and maintenance to deliver a safe, pleasant and green campus.
The Extension to University Library has won various architecture and environmental awards, including ‘Special Architectural Award 2013 – Architectural Interior’ from The Hong Kong Institute of Architects, ‘Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards 2013 – Best 10 of Public Space Projects’ from The Hong Kong Interior Design Association, ‘HKBEAM Platinum rating’ from The Hong Kong Green Building Council in 2013, ‘Excellent Class for Indoor Air Quality’ from the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department in 2014 and ‘Green Building Award 2014 – Merit Award (Institutional)’ from The Hong Kong Green Building Council.