A new low carbon £4million academic faculty for Chinese studies, which mixes contemporary design with subtle references to Chinese culture and aesthetics, has just been completed for The University of Nottingham. The Si Yuan Centre has been built to house the university??s School of Contemporary Chinese Studies (SCCS) ?? a leading national and international institute dedicated to research and degree programmes about the study of China.
Lewis and Hickey Architects (L&H) were appointed by the university to deliver the project following selection as part of a limited design competition.
Antony Phillips, design director at L&H Nottingham, who worked with board director Nick Riley on the successful design bid for the SCCS, said: ?The chance to compete for this exciting opportunity at the University of Nottingham gave us the chance to showcase our skills in the designing contemporary university architecture, combined with low carbon and BREEAM rated environmental innovations.??
The initial brief for the SCCS building referenced significant aspects of both ancient and contemporary Chinese culture, the winning design concept sought to incorporate some Asian influence and the selection of the waterside location, with a considered mix of form and materials, combined to produce a subtle modern architecture with a suggestion of China at the heart of its appearance.
The new building and its surrounding external landscape provides the University with a prestigious, flexible and agreeable amenity, which will enhance the student experience, with A+ rated office accommodation for the resident academic staff.
The architecture of the new building has created an independent identity for the Si Yuan China Centre whilst at the same time sympathetically complementing the existing campus buildings.
Adrian Hollis, director of architecture at L&H Nottingham, responsible for delivering the building said: ?This project has enabled us to expand upon our group-wide experience in Education buildings and continue to develop our working partnership with both the University and construction firm GF Tomlinson. We have created a building which we believe compliments the diverse and extremely high standard of architecture already present at the Jubilee Campus.??
The SCCS was established in 2007 to bring together the former Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies with the China Policy Institute (CPI). The school also houses the prestigious Nottingham Confucius Institute.
The Si Yuan Centre is located on the university??s Jubilee campus ?? a modern, purpose built 65-acre site. The campus is an example of successful brownfield regeneration and has excellent sustainability credentials.
Professor Shujie Yao, a well-known economist specialising in China, founding head of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies and director of the Nottingham Confucius Institute said: ?Since the inception of the school over five years ago, our dream was to build the best centre of contemporary Chinese studies in the UK and Europe. This beautiful and inspiring building situated on this picturesque campus will provide the exact physical space to realise our ambition.??
?I thank Mr Thomas Chen [a university benefactor] and our vice-chancellor Professor David Greenaway for their generosity and support for making our dream come true.??