HENN has unveiled the design for the Sino-French Aviation University. The concept draws on the traditional culture of Liangzhu, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Yangtze River Delta. Of the 1.5 million sm, 660,000 sm are dedicated to the academic campus and 930,000 sm host the science and technology park with corporate and commercial companies.
The campus’s central building and its flying roof are the most important design element of the project. The lightweight, concave roof sits atop the main building and opens itself towards the sky, meant to resemble a plane taking off. Public and shared functions, such as research labs, classrooms, conference halls, the canteen, and sports halls, are distributed among the central building.
The overall planning skeleton of the project comprises an industry-academia axis and an urban landscape axis. The industry-academia axis connects to the north and the south with courtyards, squares, and roads, while combining public teaching, labs, and service function buildings. The landscape axis connects the green corridor on the west side of the city with the east-west main entrance of the campus. It extends to the mountain on the east side to become the main landscape corridor of the campus.
The buildings’ facades incorporate rough natural materials and masonry texture, and modern technical components like glass, concrete, and steel complement the traditional Chinese facade parts.