A podium which occupies the maximum site area is created for the parking over which is the main mass of the University building. The “volume” of the building is established by the planning restrictions and is then segmented to allow both natural light into the building and to define circulation zones, creating three separate blocks which in turn are manipulated in height according to the planning limitations and requirements of the brief.
At ground floor of the podium a generous entrance plaza is created adjacent to the proposed lecture halls. From this plaza the user enters into a spacious double height zone which encompasses the primary circulation and food service areas. The library is placed towards the Northern end of site providing a raised 3 storey presence onto Av Dr Nilo Pecnha within the first of the three towers. The remaining towers house the main teaching rooms at the upper levels.
The central atrium and ground floor lobby provide the building with life through movement and activity. This animation is clearly visible from the entrance plaza through the double storey glazed entrance.
The general treatment of the facades responds to the climatic orientation and concept for the massing of the building. The external face of the block is conceived as a brilliant white rendered face, whereas those facades which are seen as ‘sliced’ are glazed in a patchwork of coloured panels and solar control glass.
Conceptually speaking the building reflects ‘education’ through an imitation of standing books. As a seat of learning it is also seen as the culmination of the path of education throughout the site. To those passing the campus the building advertises its presence through its dynamic form and kaleidoscopic façade, as a book of learning reveals its pages once opened.