Located on the campus of Xiaojingwan University, a private educational institution in Shenzhen, the China Resources Archive Library has a dual program. Its primary function is to serve as an archive for the client, holding its physical and digital records in a subterranean vault built into the hillside that serves as the project site. Atop the archive, the project functions as a gallery and lecture hall for adjacent campus, adding a civic and cultural dimension.
The project’s upper two floors (housing the building’s public programs) are restricted to a boxy massing defined by the footprint of the archive space beneath. To increase the connections between the building and the site, Link-Arc created two interior public spaces: an understated entry lobby connecting to the campus, and a dramatic exhibition space facing the ocean. The two spaces are connected by a linear “skylight hall” that provides access to the gallery and lecture spaces within.
The massing is achieved via a multipronged strategy that maximizes local conditions. At the main entrance (facing the main campus) the main lobby is articulated as a separate volume with the entry beneath, creating a dignified public entrance. At the east end of the site, the exhibition lobby is defined by a dramatic angular cut that adds visual drama and connects to an exterior terrace. This terrace enjoys dramatic views of the city and landscape beyond, and connects to a series of public ramps that allow visitors to access the city at the bottom of the hillside.
The building is covered in a handmade gray brick that unifies the massing and adds texture to the exterior surface. The brick is articulated in multiple ways to add visual texture to the exterior and to maximize the possibilities inherent within the module of the brick.