From the past restaurant building to the present Hongqiao Student Center, it is not only a change of physical space, but also another innovative answer to the "student-centered" philosophy of education.
(Figure 1 Hongqiao Student Center)
Hongqiao Student Center was officially launched on October 18, 2021. Participants include leaders of Xi’an Eurasia University, such as Chairman Hu Jianbo, President Liu Jin, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee Meng Chen, Secretary of the Discipline Inspection Commission Wang Zhiqiang, and Prof. Dang Sheng, director of the Cultural Committee and curator of MoD (Museum of Design), and some local influencers, such as Song Qun, founder of Local and curator of Xi'an City Memory Museum, Nie Haifeng, founder of "Xi'an Chengji" WeChat Official Account, Kelly, director of Uook Arch. They attended "The 26th anniversary of Xi'an Eurasian National University and the opening ceremony of the Hongqiao Student Center" to witness the birth of a new complex place of informal learning and living services in Xi'an Eurasia University, together with companies and authorities involved in the project and colleagues in education circle.
(Figure 2 Scene of the opening ceremony of Hongqiao Student Center)
——— Original Aspiration ———
Another Convincing Practice
Under the Concept of "Environmental Education"
The theme of the 26th anniversary is "Believing is Empowering". Xi’an Eurasia University has embarked on the road of "environmental education" and architecture empowering education for 26 years. The exploration of architectures in the university has gone through from early economic and practical, to green and intelligent, and then to innovative exploration. The harmonious coexistence of "people, education, architecture, and environment" represents the continuous theme of architecture in Xi'an Eurasia University.
For this reason, every landscape and building on campus is imbued with a distinctive educational philosophy. The campus has a unique culture, and it also provides useful functions for students on study and life, so that they can enjoy learning and love it.
(Figure 4 North E Teaching Building)
The transformation and reconstruction of the "Hongqiao Student Center" is a solid response to Xi'an Eurasia University's concept of "environmental education", which will empower study with creative spaces.
(Figure 5 Exterior of Hongqiao Student Center)
"Student-centered" Architectural Practice
"Student-centered" has never been just a slogan in Xi'an Eurasia University. The full picture can be glimpsed in the interior and exterior landscape renovation project of the dining building, which started in July 2019:
Indoor "Renovation Floor by Floor" + Outdoor "Renovation Area by Area"
Campus construction with students as the primary consideration
How can the outdoor landscape area be renovated without affecting the surrounding students' daily routines such as dining, taking classes, and moving around? How can the indoor space be constructed without affecting students when they are dining? This was one of the biggest problems at the time.
Yang Haiyan, assistant director of the Infrastructure Division and project leader, recalled "We couldn't let the construction affect the students' daily life, so we overcame great difficulties, and even went against some construction laws and chose to renovate the building floor by floor."
(Figure 6 Reconstruction drawings of different areas)
"All for the students". A three-year construction started with the model of renovating the negative floor first, then the first and second floors. In conjunction with the temporary dining site in the stadium, this allows for the normal operation of dining and living for students, faculty and staff on the western campus.
(Figure 7 Construction of different floors)
Overturned and rebuilt
for a complex space that students truly love
After the renovation of the underground floor was completed, the construction of the first and second floors began. The South Living Room was completed afterward. The South Living Room is a complex space where students can study, meet guests, relax, and organize festivals and events. Along with the students' growing affection for the South Living Room, the project team keenly caught the trend, "This is the space the students really need!" So the plan for the first floor was overturned, the completed walls were removed, and a fresh start was made.
Taking the Student Living Room in the Southern Campus as a benchmark, the Infrastructure Division, together with French architect Stéphane and Z+T Studio, reorganized the program with the insight of students' behavioral habits and the lack of complex space in the Western Campus.
(Figure 8 Some building manuscripts)
In addition to its function as a dining hall, this innovative complex space for dining, studying, meeting guests, organizing activities, and relaxing will be an important addition for students living in the Western Campus, renewing the informal learning places for all students and faculty.
The whole process is open to students
Carrying out education and co-construction simultaneously
On traditional construction sites, unauthorized persons are prohibited from entering. In contrast, every part of the construction site at the Hongqiao Student Center can be used for practice and explored: "We want students to know what the real construction process is, what happens during construction, and how to manage the site..." For students and faculty of School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering students and faculty, this is the perfect "second classes".
(Figure 9 Student's practice class)
Students and faculty from EAaD School often appear at the landscape construction site in front of the building. On-site landscape environment sketching, hand-drawing and analysis of landscape plant configuration plans make the Hongqiao Student Center a place for artistic practice. In the process, students are present on-site and give unexpected ideas and feedback, which often become an inspiration and benefit the construction, making the whole building deepen the intimacy and adaptability with students.
(Figure 10 Students and faculty of EAaD School
participate in practice at the Hongqiao Student Center)
Over three years, this comprehensive "student-centered" architectural practice will expose students to every informal learning situation in a more diverse way.
Three Floors of Creative Space
Empowering Learning and Living
The Hongqiao Student Center's outdoor landscape and three-story building are filled with innovations that empower student learning.
Breaking down boundaries and bringing more natural elements into campus life
"We want students to step into the campus and feel the freedom and ease of a foreign university." Abandoning curbs and hedges, Z+T Studio innovatively introduced corridors, wooden furniture and other installations and facilities, so that the road, landscape, furniture and users become a complete unity without barriers.
Students' chatting, studying, reading, relaxing, and even dining can all be done in nature. The clarity of the natural landscape, in turn, often gives students inspiration and energy, framing the Hongqiao Student Center's outdoor creative behavior stimulation area. "A landscape used by people is a living one," said Tang Ziying, co-founder of Z+T Studio and head of landscape for the Hongqiao Student Center.
Design with clarity:
Ensuring comfortable learning and living
The facade replaces traditional walls with complete floor-to-ceiling windows, which ensures sufficient light and provides a good environment for dining and learning and other scenarios. The clear shape also makes students feel good physically and mentally, creating an open learning atmosphere.
The dining area uses multiple ceiling light hangings with soft and non-intrusive light to avoid the interference of traditional dining rooms or complexes with one's reading sight, thus enhancing students' desire to learn in this light.
Dining area on the third floor:
A comfortable space that provides nutritious and delicious food
The senses are as important as the taste. The dining area of the Hongqiao Student Center, where "comfort", "relaxation" and "restrained decoration" are the first impressions, allows all diners to let go of their tiredness and enjoy the delicious food and life to the fullest.
The dining area adopts a warm color base with wooden dining tables, ergonomic dining chairs and sofas. Its combination of different atmospheres and different furniture is popular among students with a moderate sense of spacing and privacy.
The Hongqiao Student Center takes "nutrition", "diversity" and "quality" as the standard in meal creation and brand introduction, and offers many kinds of cuisines to meet the needs of different students and different levels of dining.
Creative book cafe:
Guiding students to read and study naturally
One of the most important functions of the Hongqiao Student Center is to be an informal learning venue for students. The book cafe provides a study area of booths surrounded by an entire corridor of bookshelves, guiding students to read, study and work naturally in an innovative, private and cultural way, thus implicitly enhancing their study behavior.
A mall on campus?
No, it's the practice field for the business major!
During the trial period, some outsiders thought that it was building a "school in a mall". But this is actually the practice and deepening of Xi'an Eurasia University's goal of becoming a "leader in business education" and cultivating "application-oriented talent".
As one of the university's top majors, the business major has cultivated many students with strong practical and professional skills through its unique teaching methods, especially "on-site teaching". For the business major, every brand of the university is a practice field. Through visits to companies and on-site surveys, students learn about business planning and operation models, which in turn reinforce the knowledge taught in the classroom.
The commercial brands introduced to the Hongqiao Student Center, with its innovative operation model, will also surely empower the business major again, forming a virtuous cycle of education and architecture. During the trial period, Liu Ke, a faculty member of the School of Business Administration, conducted on-site teaching at the Hongqiao Student Center and received good feedback.
An informal learning space for students
In addition to the book cafe, the Hongqiao Student Center also meets the needs of students in various methods, such as function-oriented furniture and space planning with sofas, chairs, booths, platforms, and others, making it a humanistic communication hall that's perfect for students' meetings.
The first floor is equipped with facilities such as a projector, curtain, movable tables and chairs, and power supply to provide space for students to discuss courses and organize activities such as festivals, special events, society activities, and study support. The brainstorming area on the second floor ensures that every project that requires a clash of ideas gets the students to unleash their creativity.
Hongqiao Student Center is an architectural practice from 2019-2021 and a space truly built for students. As a "creative space to empower study", it awaits your exploration!