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Appreciations towards Architectual Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University for providing the following description:
In the past century, the city has witnessed the evolution of modern Chinese history and developed a unique and profound regional culture under an interweaving of multicultural and unique geographical environment. The Loess Plateau in Yan’an is always a symbol of perseverance and tenacity, carrying a massive, rustic and magnificent air. Such a character is a mirror of the culture and spirit of Yan ‘An University.
▼延安大学全景，campus full view
Founded in 1937, Yan’an University has a long-standing history and is home to many talents. Numerous well-known universities today are directly associated with Yan’an University in history, such as Renmin University of China and Beijing Institute of Technology.
▼延安大学新校区鸟瞰实景正面，aerial view of the new campus of Yan’an University
The Project is located in the new campus of Yan’An University, in the northwest of Yanan New Area, with a total site area of 84.80hm². The campus site has complex geological conditions. It is high in the west and low in the east, and is manually leveled by cutting down the hill to fill the hollow. Lying at the center of the eastern new campus and facing the urban interface, the Complex of Library, Museum and History Museum is the initiating project of the new campus construction plan.
Yan’an is a famous historical and cultural city. It is a challenging task to design the most momentous building complex for the new campus of a university with profound historical and cultural heritage. The design team delved into various issues concerning how to retrospect the past and connect it with the future; incorporate regional features and reflect the spirit of the times; revive the contemporary charm and glory of rich history in the new space while reflecting the humanistic spirit of remaining true to our founding mission.
▼新校区鸟瞰实景，Yan’an University New Campus
▼图书馆远景，Distant View of Library
Adhering to the idea that character is more important than style
The character of a campus will shape the character of the students. When the design began, the design team visualized an ideal “picture” of the new campus: it would be as massive and rustic as the loess land in northern Shaanxi yet as solemn and magnificent as a historic city; it would be as amiable as an earnest teacher, yet as humanely charming as a life mentor.
▼图书馆外观，library exterior view
▼图书馆近景，Close View of Library
The concept the design team always adheres to is that character is more important than style. Instead of pursuing novelty and unusualness, the design inherits the spiritual connotation and regional cultural features of Yan’an University. The culture, architecture and landscape of the campus all correspond to the Loess Plateau features in Yan’an, presenting a warm and unadorned campus space with strong humanistic presence. The design ultimately creates a distinct campus character, making it different from the stereotyped new university campuses in current China.
Student-oriented campus space
▼校前区中轴台阶及文汇讲堂实景，the main stair on the central axis of the campus
In recognition of the student-centered concept, the design team has configured a series of public squares, courtyards, corridors and platforms in the library cluster to serve student activities, such as teacher-student communication and academic exchange. The design makes the space more accessible to facilitate the communication between teachers and students. By virtue of the landscape design and green planting, a humanized and dynamic campus environment has been created to neutralize the solidity of architectural space with a vigorous and comfortable venue suitable for learning and communication.
▼图书馆组团设计了一系列公共广场、庭院、连廊及平台，a series of public squares, courtyards, corridors and platforms have been configured in the library cluster
▼图书馆北侧中庭，Library North Atrium
▼图书馆南侧中庭，Library South Atrium
Local construction techniques and materials
Architecture and its environment cannot be separated from the development of the region. At present, China’s university campuses are developing on a large scale, some of which are inevitably becoming more and more similar and losing their own locality and identity.
▼校史馆外观，Close View of University History Museum
▼从图书馆拱廊望校史馆，View to the University History Museum from the library
The architects firstly explore the spatial conditions of the site and the historical context of Yan ‘an city and Yan ‘an University. After a thorough research of the traditional cave dwelling, the architects screen out the building materials and techniques and improve them with modern means. Experienced local craftsmen have cooperated to conduct on-site experiments on yellow sandstones, comparing the variations of texture and color during the day as light and shadow migrate. It is finally determined that the first floor arcade adopts the local stone cave practice. The local yellow sandstones are chiseled by local craftsmen and constructed with traditional technique. Thus, the stones of irregular variations present order in randomness and display a vivid texture with massive and rustic charm. The elevations of second floor and above employ specially made concrete blocks, which are green, cost effective and rich in variations with a simple yet magnificent style. In this way the primitive and virtual aesthetic value of the local architecture has been maximized.
▼连续的拱廊，the continuous arcade
Contemporary architectural language rooted in regional symbols
Based on the in-depth study of local architecture, the design selects the most representative symbols to reinterpret the contemporary architectural language.
▼图书馆近景，Close View of Library
Terraced stone caves: the design takes its cues from the prevailing vocabulary of Yan’an’s regional architecture – the terraced stone caves. It reinterprets and synthesizes the most symbolic architectural symbol in the history of Yan’an University, where the essence of traditional architecture can be distilled and reformulated to connect the past, highlight regional elements and inherit historical context.
▼从图书馆拱廊看博物馆，View to the Museum from the Library Arcade
Stone cave vocabulary: being the most distinctive architectural feature in Yan’an, the stone cave vocabulary has penetrated the whole design approach. Instead of simply imitating, it is integrated with campus culture and practical functional needs. Stone cave is used to shape the arcade, which serves as the building base and enhances the overall bulk. The arcade effectively responds to Yan’an’s harsh weather conditions in scorching summer and snowy winter. It provides excellent communication space for teachers and students, also serves as circulation corridors to connect different functional areas.
▼从校史馆拱廊望向图书馆，View of Library from Arcade
Cross-shaped brick hole: the most common decorative element in Yan ‘an architecture is applied to the parapet of the arcade in an abstract manner. We made no attempt to repeat the traditional elements and symbols. Rather, we sought for a novel way that is modern language and connected it with traditional regional culture.
▼立面细部，facade detailed view
Loess color: loess is the essence of Yan ‘an culture. Therefore, the new campus largely applies the loess color, in order to highlight the massive and rustic architecture and represent Yan ‘an culture. The color has emerged as a unique symbol of the campus architecture.
▼土黄色突显出建筑的厚重、质朴、大气，the new campus largely applies the loess color, in order to highlight the massive and rustic architecture
The design has attempted to break through the design conventions to explore a campus with regional characteristics, cultural atmosphere and spirit of the times, which put more specifically, is to tally with the unique historical, cultural and regional context of Yan’an University, accommodate future development of the university, promote exchanges between teachers and students, and spark innovation. At the same time, the campus design has managed to control the construction cost and create a new campus that have distinct regional characteristics, convey dense cultural atmosphere and adapt to future development. It is anticipated to become a demonstrating example for the future university campus in Northwest China.
▼延安大学全景，A Complex of Library, Museum and History Museum of Yan’an University New Campus
▼首层平面图，ground floor plan
▼图书馆东立面图，library east elevation
▼博物馆东立面图，museum east elevation
A Complex of Library, Museum and History Museum of Yan’an University New Campus，Yan’an，China
项目信息 Project Information
设计单位 Design firm:
Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University Co., Ltd.
项目主持人 Project Architect：
庄惟敏，李匡，唐鸿骏 / Zhuang Weimin, Li Kuang, Tang Hongjun
建筑设计 Architectural Designer:
盛文革，张翼，许腾飞，陈蓉子，丁浩，范娟娟，曾琳雯，常云峰 / Sheng Wenge, Zhang Yi, Xu Tengfei, Chen Rongzi, Ding Hao, Fan Juanjuan, Zeng Linwen, Chang Yunfeng
景观设计 Landscape Designer:
周易，王昕明，张雪雷，廉大启，赵丽颖，张丹丹，李卓，杨永强，梁磊 / Zhou Yi, Wang Xinming, Zhang Xuelei, Lian Daqi, Zhao Liying, Zhang Dandan, Li Zhuo, Yang Yongqiang, Liang Lei
结构设计 Structural Designer:
李青翔，蒋炳丽，杨霄，王力，苗磊，杨镇荣，崔鹃，朱朵娥 / Li Qingxiang, Jiang Bingli, Yang Xiao, Wang Li, Miao Lei, Yang Zhenrong, Cui Juan, Zhu Duoe
机电设计 MEP Designer:
刘建华，刘玖玲，徐华，郭红艳，侯青燕，刘杰，袁钰，徐啸，王永刚，于星亮，艾怡霏，陈梦化/ Liu Jianhua, Liu Jiuling, Xu Hua, Guo Hongyan, Hou Qingyan, Liu Jie, Yuan Yu, Xu Xiao, Wang Yonggang, Yu Xingliang, Ai Yifei, Chen Menghua
室内设计 Interior Designer：
北京清尚建筑设计研究院黄磊工作室 / HuangLei Studio, Beijing Tsingshang Architectural Design and Research Institute
清华大学美术学院林乐成教授工作室 / Lin Lecheng Studio, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University
用地面积 Site Area：60,300m²
建筑面积 Floor Area：74,143.79m²（图书馆library 49,883.79m²，博物馆museum 12,072.2m²，校史馆history museum 12,187.8m²）
竣工时间 Completion Time：2018
Yao Li, Cao Baiqiang
获奖情况 / Awards：
Ministry of Education Excellence Award in Architectural Design (First Prize), 2019;
Ministry of Education Excellence Award in Architectural Planning (First Prize), 2019