The Fifth Group of CCEA GO GLOBAL International Vision Expansion Program Students Joined UK Urban Regeneration 4.0 Study Program
Original: College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University
14 undergraduate and 2 graduate students from CCEA joined UK Urban Regeneration 4.0 Study Program (URSP), which was held from January 27th to February 9th 2019 in London as the fifth CCEA GO GLOBAL International Vision Expansion Program. Through academic lectures, campus visits, local architectural tours and case studies, the delegation have deepened their understanding of architecture and urban planning subject in British universities, and of local architecture and planning ideas.
Learn by lectures
On the very first day of the program, the students listened to lectures from three reputable professors in the urban regeneration field at the University of Cambridge: Prof. Pete Tyler talked about economic policy and effects on urban renewal, Prof. Studdert Peter gave an interpretation of Olympic Park as a case study, discussing the development and planning of future urban renewal, and Dr. Ying Jin, starting from his own experience, made connections among specific San Francisco case in the United States, London case in the UK and China’s current architectural development. All the three teachers combined the history of British urban development, the current policy of land management and environmental planning, historical building protection and the idea of street space, to enable the students to get familiar with the mode of urban regeneration in London.
Interaction between Teachers and Students
Learn by visits
The members of the delegation also visited Oxford University, University of Cambridge, University College London to observe and record the urban design and rich historical heritage. As the oldest university in UK, Oxford University represents the highest academic level in the UK and still continues its unique prosperity in the era of innovation. This visit mainly focused on three points: spatial layout, architectural style and campus system and culture. Adopting the college system and going through contradictions between the university and the citizens in the history, Oxford University has employed a fragmented spatial layout, i.e. distributing throughout the city. Each college tends to close to the external world and pay more attention to the interior space. The members have enhanced their knowledge of space, architecture, culture, etc. The graduate students of Oxford University also introduced the application experience of Oxford University and campus life, so that the students have a clearer direction for the future, which is extremely meaningful.
Visit Oxford University
Learn by case study
Case study is the most important and meaningful section of the program.
The old buildings and street layouts of cardinal place were well preserved, together with new buildings, which created a wonderful dialogue between the past and the modern time. Barbican was the first reconstruction project in the UK after the Second World War. Encountering the requirements for rapid construction and shortage of building materials, a brutalism approach was adopted to coordinate multiple contradictions. The designer fully absorbed the design and philosophy of the modern architects Louis Kahn and Le Corbusier, also studied from the classic geometric elements, to shape this area into a quiet and self-sufficient space, including the Pythagorean geometric vocabulary and the dignified volume from ancient Rome. Eventually, this project became a classic case of rapid reconstruction of post-war residential areas.
Through days of case study, members realized the profound meaning of ‘city is used to collect memories’ in the urban renewal plan of London. After the war, the overall planning and architectural style of London kept the original appearance and rhythm. A good design has a practical effect on solving problems and improving transportation condition and life experience.
During Case Studies
During the final presentation period, members concentrated on the King’s Cross railway station area, from the perspective of land use, public space, transportation, landscape experience, transitional space and building facades, conveyed some reflections and explorations of urban renewal and regeneration. Most of the urban regeneration in the UK is based on the preservation of historic buildings. The new part echoes the old buildings, giving new functions and roles to the old buildings. The idea of respecting history and preserving urban memories is the great lesson that the delegation has learned.
Walking through the streets of Cambridge, the delegation met the famous poem from XU Zhimo, which could also be considered as the summary of this study trip to London. “Very quietly I take my leave as quietly as I came here” Thanks to London, the group of students enjoyed their trip of urban regeneration and met a renewed self as well.
This Go Global program not only promoted the international exchange of students in CCEA academically, but also brought new experience to members in the cultural field. The successful holding of URSP has strengthened the exchanges and cooperation between the College and the universities in London, and broadened the international perspective of the members in the delegation. It is of great significance for cultivating international talents and promoting the construction of “double first class” of the College of Civil Engineering and Architecture.