During modernization, education in China breaks away from the obsolete test-oriented mentality and embraces comprehensive learning gradually. Beijing Institute of Technology tries to find new learning models that integrate science and liberal art. In response, the design reiterates Da Vinci’s interdisciplinary dialogue on science, architecture and art.
By stretching the “trajectory parabola” —a major research area in BIT—on a flat site, Da Vinci’s “Flying Machine” is built floating on the campus, allowing free flow of people and thoughts beneath it. Sited in Liangxiang, a satellite city of Beijing, the architecture statement of the project responses to the horizontality embedded in the site: the mountain chain, the campus and the park.
The project’s austere expression and parametric syntax, manifest the technological aesthetics that BIT is striving for, and meanwhile, echoes with the materiality in Hutong and Great-wall. The severe long winter in Beijing calls for an indoor athlete space in the sports center with simple form but complex interior. The challenge is to revolutionize the big-box typology from within.
The project includes a 3000-seats basketball hall, a 10-lanes swimming pool, and spaces for gymnasium, taekwondo, table tennis, etc. With Mies’ “Universal Space” and Cedric Price’s “Fun Palace” in mind, the project creates a porous campus that encourages visual and physical access to abundant activities. Transparency in space inspires trans-disciplinary dialogues among students. New social space triggers new networking and education model.