This project’s challenge is to configure a new multi-use district (research facilities, labs, offices, residences, and housing) that enhances innovation and creativity among its inhabitants while integrating the site’s ecology and landscape.
To create an environment which fosters creativity and innovation, this design draws inspiration from the famous gardens at Suzhou where architectural features like courtyards, paths and wall openings frame views of the landscape to articulate the delicate balance that exists between (building – garden), (man – nature), (order – chaos), (finite – infinite), etc.
The courtyard type varies slightly with each building configuration. Access to each courtyard is subtly skewed to alter the view of the landscape and buildings. Each building is surrounded by the water of the re-defined canal so that the land and the waterways interlock like fingers in folded hands. This distribution of uses and circulation creates un-expected encounters between fellow researchers – residents with each other and nature. This alters the way people regularly view each other and their environment to spark new ideas and thinking.
The structure of the “Maze” building is largely elevated above the landscape allowing easy vehicular and pedestrian access. The string of buildings is connected by bridges that provide multiple experiential paths though the “maze” and immerse researchers in spaces that are both built-natural and finite-infinite to generate new ideas.