Established in 1991, HKUST has become a leading research institution consistently ranked amongst the best in Asia and around the globe. HKUST is also one of the world’s fastest-growing universities. Over half of the university’s 16,000 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year are from overseas, creating an urgent demand for new residential facilities within its Clear Water Bay campus.
Planned for completion in 2023, the university’s new halls of residence designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with Leigh & Orange will house over 1,500 students. Marrying advanced digital design technologies with sustainable construction practices and operational strategies for its 50-year life cycle, the design is guided by the university’s mission to harness technology and innovation to solve today’s critical global issues.
Located at the southeast of the HKUST campus, the new halls of residence are embedded within a steeply sloping site of approximately 25m of level difference. The building’s roof line has been designed as its primary circulation and incorporates shaded outdoor areas for students and staff to rest and gather together, helping to build a stronger cross-campus culture. This rooftop walkway creates a new connection between the academic blocks of the north campus and the primarily residential blocks of the south, eliminating the need for students and staff to circumnavigate the hilly terrain.
The halls of residence are organized in a hexagonal configuration creating four courtyards terraced into the steeply sloping site. With all rooms facing open spaces, the approximately 35,500 sq.m of accommodation includes communal areas for living, learning, recreation and leisure. The courtyards are designed to be quieter spaces for rest and relaxation, while the surrounding hillside will be replanted to prevent soil erosion with zones for exercise and social activities.
The residences are arranged in three differing ‘clusters’ that combine communal living spaces with a varying number of single or double occupancy bedrooms, enabling between 18 to 36 students to share one apartment as a single self-contained ‘household’ that encourages a sense of ownership and cohesion.
The ‘Y’ cluster apartments accommodate 27 students with study areas, relaxation lounge and kitchen, while the ‘V’ clusters house 36 students in a split level apartment with a double-height living space and stairs connecting the quieter study lounge on upper floor with the dining-kitchen area on lower level. The ‘Linear’ cluster of apartments house 18 students and include an open plan living area with kitchen that can be subdivided by partitions when required.
Privacy and spatial equality are the primary drivers for the bedroom designs, with storage and furniture configurations achieving maximum spatial efficacy. The bedrooms within all apartments are grouped together and separated from the communal spaces by an additional doorway to manage noise.
In an attempt to minimize waste and construction time for the Student Residence Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the studios’ design utilizes prefabricated facade panels and washrooms. The facade modules, which will be clad in different colors of ceramic tiles, will incorporate insulation and solar shading above the windows to maximize thermal comfort.
The Student Residence Development at HKUST will be complete with photovoltaic panels on the inaccessible parts of the roof. Centralized heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system powered by an intelligent building management system will also feature, helping to minimize energy consumption and support the university’s commitment to becoming carbon-neutral in operation.