The University of Chicago (UChicago) Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong SAR has won the prestigious Prix Versailles international design award, according to a news release posted on UChicago's website on Thursday.
The campus, which opened in 2018 to serve as a regional hub for research, education and collaboration, was awarded the Special Prize for Interior in the Prix Versailles Campuses category, in recognition of its innovation, creativity, energy efficiency, reflection of local, natural, and cultural heritage, and its promotion of the values of social interaction and participation.
Evoking a contemporary "treehouse of knowledge," the HK campus' ribbon-shaped building echoes the hilly contours of the seaside site and carefully integrates with heritage structures now repurposed as classrooms and student lounges. The landscaped promenade and heritage courtyard are open for public access and guided tours for visitors to understand the history of this previously off-limits site.
The campus adopts a minimalistic design, with plenty of wood in light tones to soften the heritage's concrete structure while bringing a touch of warmth to the center of academic exchange and social interchange.
The HK campus has celebrated a number of architectural recognitions since its official opening in November 2018, including SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture - Merit Award by The Society for College & University Planning; FuturArc Green Leadership Award - Merit Award by the Building Construction Institute Asia; ASLA Northern California Chapter - Merit Award in the General Design category; and the International Architecture Awards 2019 - Restoration / Renovation category by The Chicago Athenaeum.
Inaugurated in 2015 in association with UNESCO and the International Union of Architects, the annual Prix Versailles recognizes the world's best architectural projects.