HKU | Shanghai Center
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HKU | Shanghai Center

When Hong Kong University decided to expand its program with a satellite center in Shanghai, the institution decided to locate it in the historical post office ensemble at the edge of Suzhou Creek. This study center holds an architecture gallery on the ground floor while classrooms, design studios, and faculty offices are located on the second and third floors above. The intense nature of the studio and lecture program of HKU—as well as the fact that all students are based in nearby dormitories but would be mostly working at the centre—meant that the space needed to accommodate a spectrum of functions, from work to rest, from social to private activities, much like what is found within a home.

The design of the interior is based on an open plan, to fully utilize the airy feeling of these loft-like spaces and take advantage of the large existing windows which look out onto Suzhou Creek. Each floor is kept as open as possible, with glass partitions where division of space is necessary, making way for seminar rooms, lecture halls, and offices. Glass allows a visual connection between the partitioned spaces, while concrete floor and white walls make up the dominant feature of the interior in a minimalist way. The faculty offices are tucked inside a large wooden insertion divided by glass partitions; the wooden surface treatment differentiates the faculty office space from the rest of the building.

This is the first time that a Hong Kong university is establishing a presence in China in the form of a study center, and it potentially sets a foundation for future collaborations between China and Hong Kong educational forums, particularly in the realm of architecture and design.

Gross Area
1,500 m²


Completion Date
October 2008

March 2008 – October 2008

298 North Suzhou Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai