A collaboration between Ryerson University and China Three Gorge's University's (CTGU), the project called on the master plan of their Water Science facilities in conjunction with the construction of a new hydro dam.
The design explores concepts in identity, landscape and interdisciplinary research. The academic departments are combined into one megastructure — a new reform towards cross-disciplinary innovation. Its minimal footprint creates new opportunities for public space on the water, intersecting academics and play. The natural wetland is maximized as an asset to the site, rather than an obstacle for development, allowing water to freely flow under the building. A system of mycofiltration (fungi as filters) embedded within the floating pedestrian walkways purifies urban run-off down the surrounding hill, before entering the campus waterways.
This project was the culmination of travelling across Eastern and Northern China, as documented through sketching.
Inspired by Chinese architectural princples, nature is taken as a design force for guiding the project. The building is thought to fall into the background, allowing the landscape to come to the forefront of the experience. By minimizing the building footprint, the built form becomes a machine for improving the landscape, while trying not to disturb in the process. Passive design principles are integrated, controlling solar heat gain and regulating natural ventilation flows in the building given the vastness of the facade's surface area.
The flow of campus waterways and urban run-off was a driving principle of the project. Mycofiltration is integrated into the pedestrian boardwalk network under the building.The site boundary is highlighted in red to illustrate the ecological context.