IO has won a Merit Award for the HKIA Cross Strait Architectural Design Awards


In recent years, China and Taiwan working closely together to develop different kinds of key projects; of which one is a most advanced academy, Fujian Professional Photonic College, designed
by IO.

IO honored been commissioned as Lead Design Architect of this project. The design of this College has been widely recognized internationally, especially in the Cross Strait Region. On 16 March 2013, Ted Givens, Design Partner at lO, and his team has won a Merit Award for the HKIA Cross Strait Architectural Design Award.

The new 550,000 square meter Fujian Professional Photonic Technical College in South East China is being wholly funded by a Taiwanese Company, Ching Fu, one of Taiwan's largest privately owned companies with over forty years of modern shipbuilding experience. The ground breaking heralds the development of significant cultural and trade links between Taiwan and the Chinese province of Fujian, which previously hosted the country's primary coastal defense system against Taiwan, now dismantled to make way for new bilaterally funded projects in the region.

John Chen, the son of the Ching Fu Chairman says, "Fujian has recently been expanded to become a global leader in the production and design of LED technology. Ching Fu's Photonic College will be one of the first initiatives of the city's master plan, providing a supply of trained workers for the province. We are very excited and look forward to welcome the first 3,000 students enrolled in the Photonic College by the first year of opening in September 2014. In four years, we anticipate the total number of students to grow to 12,000. "

For the Photonic College project, IO are responsible for the master plan design, the architectural design of five of the nine buildings in the first phase, and the landscape design in the same phase. Most of the structures for these nine buildings are under construction.

IO will also be designing buildings in phases two and three. The project involves a very fast track program with complex overlapping construction schedules. Documentations for phase two will commence towards the end of 2012.

Ted Givens, Design Partner of IO and Lead Designer of the project, explains, "The core concept is to interweave a very large scale college into a natural setting, preserving and enhancing the sites existing character. We seek to design the most non-invasive set of structures possible, balanced against the creation of a very efficient college. The master plan is built upon a backbone of passive solar principles that are supplemented and enhanced by a series of highly innovative sustainable technologies including the use of photocatalytic nano-coatings, algae for air purification and for the production of organic fertilizer, thermal cooling systems, green walls, hydro power, and solar power. The Photonic College will become test beds for the development of new products and systems."
Ching Fu and IO share the same vision for the development. The goal of the design is to plan the campus by putting nature and the creation of a balanced sustainable future first. The implementation of this approach started during the masterplanning stage and has been carried through to the architectural and landscape design.

The project involves changing the mentality behind the design of college or university campuses, and how the various programs and departments are run.

The design of the Photonic College will provide a sustainable learning and living environment for the students who enrol in the college and villagers who live at the edges of the college respectively.

The province will also benefit by the project, becoming a demonstration of how to work with and preserve the natural setting.

Ching Fu and IO hope that eventually the demonstration project will lead other developers and architects to adopt the same vision and to apply it on other universities and projects throughout China.

Givens added that Fujian has a very beautiful natural setting almost like the Tuscan Hills; and it would be a shame to let rapid development erases its current beauty.

IO are currently working on the detail designs for the algae air purification system on the main academic building. The design will pump the exhaust from the underground parking up into a series of algae filled tubes on the façade. IO are also sourcing the photocatalytic coatings for the façades and calculating the amount of UV light needed to keep the air cleaning reaction happening at night as well, using a series of PV cells to power the UV lights. The goal is for the main academic building to clean the air 24 hours a day.

The design is ground breaking because it generates a radial campus planning diagram around the intersection of 3 small existing streams. Instead of imposing a geometric order, IO worked with the site features and let them inform the campus planning strategy. The streams would have normally been piped and covered to maximize ease of construction and planning flexibility. IO found in the end by working with nature, all sorts of planning issues ranging from storm water management to creating outdoor campus room fell into place quite easily.

Ching Fu has commissioned IO (often referred to as "IO") as Lead Design Architect for this 12, 000 person campus along with architectural commissions for Phase 1 and 2 building designs. 10's precedent experience in the Taiwan-China Cross Strait region has played a significant part in Ching Fu's decision on the contract award. IO previously designed the 93 hectare master plan for the Central Business District Mixed Use Development in Pingtan (also in Fujian), which is the Governments' flagship development to spur trade and political communications between Taiwan and China.