The Northern Technical School Master plan is a landmark campus that facilitates a sense of urban community. The master plan at once presents a strong and dynamic urban street presence and creates an active working courtyard that opens to the river parkway. The plan facilitates high levels of productive hands-on learning as well as smaller quiet places in nature that serve as a reprieve to the urban context and academic environment. The labs and the workshops on the ground level embrace and wrap around a central courtyard which is developed both for pedestrians and vehicular activity. The courtyard is a hardscaped area that is primarily a place of work. Vehicular access is allowed into the courtyard while being segregated from the pedestrians through slight curbed level changes. The courtyard is both enclosed by the labs at the bottom of the comprehensive building and the long workshops on the river side. Bridged openings between the workshops allow easy pedestrian access and visual connections to the riverfront. The main entry to the comprehensive building is by means of a grand open air public stair which rises to the level of the platform. From the platform level, pedestrian activity encircles, looks down upon and crosses over the central working courtyard of activity and connects to the river beyond. All activities from the comprehensive building have easy access to the central atrium and to the level of the platform which is shielded from the street edge and looks out upon the river’s edge. Those who live at and visit the campus will feel a sense of community and of belonging through an environment that facilitates spaces of hard work and learning alongside a connection to nature.
Principals: Michael Fox, Juintow Lin
Design Team: Lang Lor and Xing Qi