大楼由纽约知名建筑师事务所Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates（KPF）主持设计，其作品风格与功能多样，遍布全球各大城市，尤其擅长超高层建筑。香港环球贸易广场、上海环球金融中心和恒隆广场以及在建的深圳平安金融中心均出自KPF，而国际法学院新楼是KPF在中国的首个教学建筑设计。笔者有幸采访到 KPF的设计师Jill Lerner女士、Elie Gamburg先生和Alex Kong先生，整理为以下采访记录。
Q1: Why did you choose the task of designing the new building for School of Transnational Law?
I have known Jeffrey Lehman since he was the President of Cornell. I visited Dean Lehman when he became the Dean of STL. Meanwhile, there was a proposal of a new building for this innovative law school. KPF has an office in Hong Kong and had been taking projects in Shenzhen. We have done a lot of designs of academic buildings, including law schools. So, it was a terrific opportunity to partner with STL.
Q2: What were the preparations that you undertook during the process of designing the STL Building?
For an academic building, we had a lot discussions with the then Dean, faculty members, and students. We also spent a lot of time visiting other schools at Peking University in Shenzhen, as well as the campus in Beijing. We also researched other major Chinese universities, such as Tsinghua, Tongji and Fudan.
Comparing to our experience in doing educational buildings in Europe and the U.S., we tried to understand how education happens here in China. We tried to identify things that are critical for 21st century education and that may have been overlooked in earlier academic buildings.
Q3: How did you harmonize the design in order to meet the needs of the various users of the new building – e.g., students, professors, administrators, etc.?
We wanted some visual connections between the faculty areas and student areas, and the places where everyone would be comfortable working together. We designed an atrium to help bring the entire law school community together. It’s a place where students and faculty can meet formally or informally with one another, and students can comfortably study. We understand that students have different styles of studying. The design of the atrium, in a way, addressed a few of the different ways in which people study: (i) the open seating arrangements along the stairs cater to students who like to study in public spaces; (ii) the terraces with small tables cater to students who like to study in small groups; and (iii) the small nooks under the stairs cater to students who prefer studying in private. We tried to accommodate a variety of study preferences in one central space.
We designed classrooms in various configurations. For example, some classrooms are tiered horse-shoe shaped while others are more traditional flat floor spaces. Such variety addresses the reality that you have different professors with different teaching styles.
Q4: Was there any consideration with regard to sustainability and environmental protection?
We spent a long time trying to get the glass right. Because the atrium faces south we had to ensure that the atrium would not get too hot in the summer. This meant carefully choosing the right type of protective glass from the standpoint of heat protection and glare reduction. We used a special Low-E glass to make the space more comfortable and sustainable.
We wanted the atrium to face south so occupants had views of the mountains and river. There are few windows in the east and west of the building because, in Shenzhen, the sunlight is very strong in these directions.
There are many operable windows in the building to allow for fresh air and to reduce reliance on mechanical air conditioning systems. It’s nice when you walk out of a classroom and have fresh air, lots of sunlight and a beautiful view in the atrium. The idea of the atrium also encourages people to walk instead of taking the elevator, which promotes exercise and wellness.
Q5: What was the most challenging aspect of the project from the beginning to the completion of the building?
The most challenging part was the construction. We used different construction materials for different functions. We had locally sourced materials, materials from Hong Kong, and materials from overseas. During the construction, our architects regularly visited the construction site from our KPF office in Hong Kong in order to make sure every step went well. I want to thank STL Assistant Dean Chen Keru for her support and help. Without her, the construction process would not have progressed as smoothly.
Q6: What was the most satisfactory thing about the project and do you have any regret about the new building (if any)?
There was a famous architect who said that he had a very hard time going into a building he designed and completed because what he saw was only all possibilities that didn’t happen. Though I had a lot of respect for him, I actually never felt that way about this building. We do have possibilities, but the important thing is that we designed this building for you (the STL community) and it is you who will give life to this building.
Q7: What do you think of School of Transnational Law and Shenzhen?
This is a good question and our team members had a lot discussion about this. Shenzhen is an innovative, energetic, young and international city. So is STL. You are studying in a highly globalized, innovative and young law school.
撰稿：胡月 杜雅云 刘宸缨 倪瑞章