Aedas drew inspiration from the Taihu stone, which is indigenous to the Suzhou region, in the construction of the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Administration Information Building in Suzhou Industrial Park.
Sometimes also referred to as scholar’s stones, the material is a kind of limestone that has been exposed to long-term water erosion, resulting in pores and holes all over the stone.
According to Aedas, the peculiar and precipitous appearance of the stone gives it high ornamental value, and it has been a material of choice amongst landscape designers since ancient times.
The porous nature of the stone is reflected in a void structure with functional spaces linking up different programs within the building, including an administration centre, a learning and resources centre, a training centre and a student activities centre. The voids also help promote interaction between staff and students, while the different void heights come together to create a garden and help bring natural light and ventilation into the space.
The building has already won several awards, including the Grand Prize at South China Morning Post Chivas 18 Architecture and Design Awards 2014, and the Platinum award under Architecture, Building and Structure Design at A’ Design Awards 2013 – 2014.