The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Center in Hong Kong is the new Asian hub for the University’s renowned Booth School of Business (Chicago Booth) and home to its global Executive MBA Program.
Situated on an extremely steep, heritage-protected hillside of Mount Davis at the western end of Hong Kong Island, the design for this new satellite campus was inspired by the site’s challenging topography, its magnificent panorama across the sea, and the scattered remnants of its past as a former military facility and, in later years, a detention centre.
The design mandate was to respect both the existing heritage buildings and the complex natural landscape. This led to the innovation of floating the project above the historical relics and within the lush landscape, minimizing disruption of the existing natural conditions. The resultant design presents a curvilinear form that gently weaves the academic program into the contours of the site’s difficult terrain, touching down only at points of least intrusion, and bridging the heritage blocks to seamlessly reconcile old and new, natural and man-made. Its fluid design, accentuated by generous glazing and rhythmic sun screens, carefully respects the site’s unique setting and abundant foliage while gently embracing the memory-laden masses of its historic past, some of which have been repurposed and incorporated into the new facility. This facility is a landmark academic hub for global education is architecturally unique, environmentally sensitive, and elegantly celebrates the University of Chicago’s international presence and its partnership with the wider Hong Kong community.