The project, with a gross floor area of 28,000 sqm (301,400 sqft), consists of education facilities for three faculties – arts, science and engineering, and business – containing 10 departments and two research centers. Chu Hai College has traditionally emphasized a multidisciplinary and wide-ranging education for its 4,000 students engaged in the four-year degree curriculum. Accordingly, OMA’s design generates abundant communal spaces that will facilitate encounters between students from different departments.
OMA conceived a building that consists of two parallel horizontal slabs connected by a ‘mat’ of social and educational facilities. The slabs, each eight stories high, contain flexible space for classrooms, studios, and offices. Their aerated structural facades provide a visual unity for the campus, and allow views into the inner workings of the buildings and out over Castle Peak Bay and its verdant surrounding hills. The slabs are oriented to maximize natural ventilation, reducing air conditioning demands by 15–30 per cent and contributing to an efficient, sustainable design.