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PORTFOLIO Baicen ZHOU The University of Nottingham Ningbo China 2012 - 2015



Baicen ZHOU

2011.09 - 2015.07 BArch (Hons) Architecture, University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Date of Birth: 1993. 04.09 Email: Tel: +86 15821856402

2014.03 - 2014.07 Exchange Student University of Sydney, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning 2008.09 - 2011.06 Nankai Middle School, Tianjin, Science student SKILLS Design Programs: AutoCAD, Google SketchUp, 3DMAX, Ecotect, Rhino, Revit, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe lnDesign Drawing Skills: Pen, Pencil, Color Pencil, Maker Pens and Water Color Languages: Mandarin - Native English - Academic English, Professional Working Proficiency Other Skills: Model-making, Digital Fabricate Skill, Photo-shooting Skill.



2015, 07 - Present More Design Office, Shanghai Junior Architect

2011 - 2012 Head’s Scholarship for top 20% students 2013 - 2014 Dean’s Scholarship for top 10% students 2014 - 2015 3rd Prize of Learning Capsule Design Competition

Working with local/international architects and interior designers; Conceptual design; Initial scheme design; Renovation project study; Model making; Learning interior design from architectural perspective; Interior construction drawings.

2014, Summer Chapman Taylor Architectural Design, Shanghai Architectural Design Assistance, Internship Worked with international team; Communicate with clients; Translated for local architects and clients; Conceptual design; Initial schematic design

2012, 2013, 2014 Summer and Winter Break Tenio Architecture And Engineering Cooperation, Tianjin Architectural Design Assistance, Internship Deliberated spaces through model-making; Graphically designed analysis diagrams; Translated biding booklet accurately; Improved working efficiency under time pressure.

2013.02 - 2015.07 Student Union Souvenir Shop Product Designer, Graphic Designer

PERSONAL STATEMENT Personally I think users’ experience is the spirit of one architecture, so it should be the most important decisive element which decide every single direction through the whole design process. A truly successful piece of architecture can lead people to change their behavior naturally without noticing. Thus the first direction I'm interested in is starting from humanity research and analysis, generate ideas and applied them in to spaces which have impact on human behavior to find out the possibility of how deep an architecture can influence a certain group of people. After I touched the real architecture market through several internship opportunities, I saw serious problems of the poor maintenance of old architectures and cities are loosing their identity. By starting to research about Chinese old architecture features and some successful renovation projects in Europe, I tried to figure out a logical strategy and apply it to Chinese urban context in my graduation project. I'm hoping I could learn more about renovation which can be a starting point of Chinese cities develop in a healthy and cultural-preserved way.


Down to the Sky


Secret Garden


Urban Life Optimizer





NO.1 Ningbo Road



Part in Whole


The Pavilion


Vehicle & Bus Stops

SELECTED UNIVERSITY PROJECTS Down to the Sky 2014 Spring _USYD Pedestrian This children pavilion scheme is located in the quietest part of Victoria Park, downtown of Sydney. The site is surrounded by trees and grassland which create a really enjoyable environment. We found out that people are using the shortcut on the grassland a lot where there is no built path. We want the scheme to be discovered not only people who are free and wandering around but also people who are in hurry and have no time to go further to explore the park. In order to attract all kinds of people whose using the park for different purpose we chose that area as out site in the first place. All conceptural element came from the observation of sky. Sky is the farthest thing from us but it is also the most inspirational and the most desirable thing from our childhood. Birds are flying and singing, leaves are waving with the wind, clouds are changing shapes in every moment. If the pavillion can capture all the element from sky and get the sky down to the ground, with children’s imagination, they'll play with it and build their own fantasy in their mind palace.


Site Surrounding

Noise Analysis

Form Finding The form of the scheme came from the image of clouds. As the abstraction of actual clouds, the slab between 2 spaces is in floating shape and when children go through it no matter through ladder or spiral slices, they can feel they are traveling through the clouds. The pattern of the structure on the top and underneath the slab exaggerate the form by symmetrical height of each element.


Mapping the Sky Other than normal mapping, the idea of mapping the sky came up. On the sky we chose, we record different image of sky in different weather, clouds during different time, different vies through trees, different species of birds which are flying around all the time, and the enjoyable sounds which comes from all the directions. The view of skyline shows the city's horizon on the northeast direction of the site.





The plan is simply shaped through the contour of the park’s grassland and because of the contour’s leaning to a certain angle, the underground space can fade on to the ground softly. Thus Cafe area for parents is located on the east end of the building which can enjoy the view towards the city and also has visual connection with both underground and upper level spaces. Parents can keep an eye on their kids while enjoy their coffee. The climbing framework on the top has reflective platform on it. Children can climb up to the platform and step on the image of sky and touch it play with it. There are 3 ways to get the basement: staircase from cafe for parents, one ladder and one spiral slice for kids to get down through a fun way. Kids can enjoy the sky image on the wall through periscope, natural light through transparent column and the color of the sky through hollow pipe.






Materiality Various materials are used to achieve getting sky down to the ground through different ways.Reflection and converge of light are the most important way to get there. Tr a n s p a r e n t p l a s t i c columns, hollow metal columns and periscopes can be used in B1 to get natural light and view of sky down into the underground space. reflective mirrors and water pond can be used beyond ground level to get the image of sky down to the building.


Transparent plastic columns lead the light in and create spots light points on the floor underground.

Hollow metal columns Capture the sky through the hollow columns and their reflective inner surface can reflect the color of sky

Mirror Platforms Reflect sky pieces from different angle. Children will feel like steping on the sky by walking through them.

Climbing Structure Children can climb up and by looking down to the reflection of the slab, they can feel that the sky is blow you and extents into the ground.

Reflective Slab Floating clouds shape with various type of reflective, transparent or translucent material such as glass, mirror and shallow water pond.

Periscope Reflect the sky pieces on the mirror and project them on underground walls


Key Spaces 1.







Current Life

People do not communicate

Facing the same space all the time

Life Wanted

Share life with friends

Communicate about their artwork with public

Secret Garden 2013 Autumn _UNNC This project is a dwelling mixed public space project. The clients are a group of artists who work in Hangzhou downtown currently. They are working for commercial used art pieces for living. However they are facing some problems in current life: lack of communication in the urban environment; facing same spaces in their apartments and offices every single day; artwork should be generate naturally but not pushed by deadlines. As the result they cannot get enough inspiration from this kind of life The site is located in the suburb of Hangzhou which called Xiaohe Historic Area. This area is quite isolated from the urban environment which Hangzhou downtown is in. Instead of busy life which most of the people live in nowadays, the site is a peaceful garden where people enjoy their life in slow lifestyle which is perfectly what the clients need. The design intention is to create a secret garden for the clients to get enough inspiration and live in a peaceful life with enough income from the commercial functions.


Art is pushed by DDL not by inspiration

Site Analysis

Alley Pedestrian Road

Ve g e t a t i o n i n Public Space Courtyard

Semi-Public Space Public Space

Slow down their pace of life

Public Space

Site Historical Spot River+Canal

- Typical traditional Chinese style (Architecture and living pattern) - Local people are kind and talkative. They are curious about new things. - Local people have their own sense of art during daily life - People enjoy their life there with peaceful mood and slow lifestyle.


Design Process

Dwelling/public area divided

Courtyard on river side for dwelling

Central axis to draw people in

Secret garden for public at back


Tea room for public near street

Car parking circ



Residential Area


Historical Residential Area


Contour Creates the connection between street level and next block.




Living& Working Circulation Work in Studio

Public Pedestrian


Private Pedestrian


Disable Pedestrian



Work in Teahouse Work in Shops Visual Attraction towards outside


Change of volumn and contour, add 2 gateways to created the sence of secret.

Small gardens are distribute into different functions. Platforms floating on water feature enrich the garden.


Garden Space in Commercial Area

Floating Garden Platform on the water to create the "Floating Garden"

Waterscape Open Spaces Open Spaces in Commercial Area Main Public Open Space Sculpture Garden


Landscape water body is full of garden area

M a i n S e c re t G a rd e n Space with Entrance and Exit Gateway

Courtyard for Clients Roof Garden for Clients


Visual Connection between Spaces

Main Secret garden


15 Roof Garden


Single Apartment A (Disable)


Couple House A&B GF

Couple House A&B F1

C Shop


Art Studio F1

Bike Rental Shop

Art Studio GF


Single Apartment

Family House B&C GF

Family House B&C F1

Family House A GF

Family House A F1


Family House B&C F2

Family House A F2



Section A-A


Single Apartment B Single Apartment C




Sculpture Garden


Secret Garden

Bike Rental

Entrance Garden

Section B-B

Commercial Street

Main Public Space

Section C-C

0 1m



Sculpture Garden



0 1m



Street Front Elevation


Main Public Spaces


① View of sculpture garden from the entrance gateway. The sencse of secret is expressed

② Perspctive of the sculpture

Roof Garden (For Client only))

a House (Public)

e garden from studio terrace

0 Main Entrance



Shops ③ View of the garden from exit of the site


Secondary Public Spaces ① Tea house terrace on the ground floor and private roof for the clients on the top of it. There is visual connection between 2 spaces without accessibility for public to get into private space randomly. ② Commercial street from the spot in front of the tea house ③ Street view of the terrace and the roof garden through the garden along the street.



Detail Design

Main Private & Interior Space

In order to follow the local structural logic and fit in the overall atmosphere with surrounding residential blocks, timber has been chosen as the main material which form the structure and exterior facade is timber. Light timber framed structure is covered by wooden shingles on the exterior facade. Because of the humid climate there, except normal rock wool insulation, vapor barrier is also added into the layer of walls. For leading more sunlight in long depth dwelling, a interior courtyard has been designed toward north which is fully opened with timber frame patterned glazing on 3 sides of it.

Studio Work Environment

Teahouse Atmosphere

Secret Garden between Shops



Facade of dwellings integrate with main courtyard



Riverside Park Nice and quite space along riverside with greenery. Also has a panorama view of Ningbo downtown.

Urban Life Optimizer 2015 Spring _UNNC

Urban life optimizer is a “healthy life� themed community center project which located in Xiushui Street neighborhood Ningbo China. It contains the function of health consulting, aging people rehabilitation, communal dining, urban farming for the community to increase their healthy rate and lab spaces which offer medical processionals to conduct their research after working due time. The whole scheme is based on renovation of Xinfeng building which has been built during the republic of China era which the government planed to take down soon. The design intention is to create innovative spaces which promote and cultivate healthy life style from community level in this well-preserved traditional Chinese building. Through the study of Haishui district I found that Xiushui neighborhood is the last historical block which remains the same function as residential use.Under the high seed of Chinese city urbanism and the blindness of chasing after western countries' city develop pattern, all traditional valuable buildings are lack of preservation and the trace of the history is fading away from the city's pattern. On top of that, most of the cities chose to fake traditional buildings with modern techniques for commercial use. Set a successful model of preserving an old building and make it a starting point of making the whole historical block alive is one of the main goal.


Moon Lake area Historical block before goverment demolish all old buildings and developed it i n t o c o m m e rc i a l a re a w i t h restaurants in "fake antique" buildings

Zhongshan park Biggest park in Haishu district with a lot of activities happening. Most of the aging people gathering around to talk, trying out Peking opera, singing and dancing.

Bell tower commercial street Commercial street with foods and retails. New and identical architectures which immitate traditional Chinese architecture with modern building techniques

Tianyi square Biggest and most crowded commercial area with all type of functions.


Xiushui Street Neighborhood

Within Xiushui Street neighborhood, building from Ming and Qing Dynasty are the majority on this site which shows the profound history of China. The location of the neighborhood is one of the best in Ningbo downtown while the living condition is really bad due to the poor preservation. The majority residences of this community is aging people who lives alone. Most of these aging people has serious health issues because of poor medical care system and unhealthy lifestyle. A community center which can bring people together and improving their living quality through dining, exercise and health consulting system is urgently needed in this neighborhood.

Spatial Design Intetion Instead of traditional health consulting pattern which is formed within small closed private room, a new pattern of opened up health consulting mixed with relaxing spaces will be created. Platforms with different height can give the privacy due to the blank spaces around while the spatial connection with open space is not disappear. Opportunity of bring nature into the building is created by the light wheels from the original building. Along the light wheel structure, courtyard which connected towards outside can be brought down. The inclusive group will be centralized by the courtyard.


Site Plan

Renovation Strategies


Xinfeng building is located located next to the central node which is the junction of 2 main public circu public accessibility. Xinfeng Building was built during the Republic of China period. It's architectural lang are several architectural essence which can be preserved and used to create innovative spaces such strategy is based on the principle of keeping original reame structure while open up the space interiorly f Facade

Light wheel

Original Facade

Original Internal Layout: Residential Use

Presearved Facade with one part removed

Original Structure: Reif Concrete Frame Stru

Renovated Internal Layout: Opened Up for Public Use

Simplified Structure sup by light steel structu

+ Brick


Commercial Buildings

Public Buidlings






ulations which has the condition to achieve higher guage can speak for that time in the history. There h as facade, roof and light wheel. The renovation for public use.

forced ucture

pported ure


Sharing Spaces

Original Structure: Reiforced Concrete Slabs+Timber Structured Roof

Renovated slabs

Original light wheel provide great chance to bring sunlight and nature inside the buidling.

The flat part of the roof can be developed into a roof planting area with great natural light and oppeness.

Contary with the heaviness of the original structure, light steel structure is added which formed the extention and devided interior spaces in the original building. This contrast is not only visual, but also showing the develop path of the building.

Roof Shading Structure Preserved Original Roof Glass Glazing

Reflective Glass

Preserved Original Facade Renovated Basement Floor formed by Concrete



1:500 B








Public Circulation Core Relaxing&Health Consulting Space








Visual Connection




Book Lending Space

Stuff Offices

Public Circulation Core

Research Center Core


Relaxing&Health Consulting Space


Rehabilitation Center Research Center Core


Visual Connection

Stuff Offices WC


Section A-A


Original Structure B






B Zoning

Public Circulation Core Communal Dining Hall


Communal Kitchen Research Center Core

New Structure C




Visual Connection



Stuff Dining Hall

Planting Area


Stuff Roof Garden

Section B-B

Section C-C



Visual Connection



Main Hall Relaxing space mixed with library and informal health consulting space. Patients will meet the professionals for a cup of coffee and talk about their physical or psychological problems without feeling ashamed and burdened because of their problem. Also provide oppotunities for residences to socialize.

Light steel structure support concrete frame

Bricks integrate with glazing

Light steel structure with glazing

Timber flooring



Main Hall Relaxing space mixed with library and informal health consulting space. Patients will meet the professionals for a cup of coffee and talk about their physical or psychological problems without feeling ashamed and burdened because of their problem. Also provide oppotunities for residences to socialize.

Light steel structure support concrete frame

Bricks integrate with glazing

Light steel structure with glazing

Timber flooring



Rehabilitation Center Aging people can use the rehabilitation center to do proper e x e rc i s e u n d e r p ro f e s s i o n a l guidance. Patients who have certain disability can do rehabilitation training with their health consultant.

Light steel structure support concrete frame

Bricks integrate with glazing

Light steel structure with glazing

Timber flooring 34


Roof Top Urban Farm The whole healthy lifestyle system starts from healthy diet. People can learn how to plant their own safe vegetables in urban farm and also learn how to cook healthily in communal kitchen.

Shading Device Aluminium Panel

Photovoltaic Panel Glazing 36

Facade Design

Nouth Elevation 1: 300

West Elevation 1: 300


South Elevation 1: 300

Joint Part Elevation 1:80

Office Building Detail Section


Joint Part Detail Plan 1:30

Light steel supporting column Original building window

Original Buidling Concrete Column Original Buidling Brick Wall

Rotated Glass Fin Timber Shading Panel

The Medical Research Center o ff e r s re s e a rc h l a b s f o r t h e professionals to carry on their own research after due hour. A nice and friendly environment is necessary. Carried on from the light steel structure, the facade is formed as 2 layers: normal glass facade with vertical movable timber shading panel and a Glass Fin-facade which can provide various of environment internally. To ensure the interior comfort rate, temperature, ventilation and sunlight can be controlled by rotating the fins.


Model - Spaces

Night view of

Health condu

Entrance Elevation


Main Building Section

Main Building Section

Office Building Section

Office Building Section

Office Building elevation

the main facade

ulting platform

Entrance hall through the "Gate"

Office building atrium

Communal space between local block and north facade

Rooftop urban farming area




Background: The Great Philosopher - Immanuel Kant's Working & Living Space in UNNC This project is a living&studio building for Kant which located in the University of Nottingham Ningbo China campus. Kant’s life can be divided into 3 parts according to his 24-hour narrative which has been concluded from his journal: INEVITABLE SPACE which include working space and bathroom (thinking is his job and he cannot stop thinking which has the same reason why normal people using bathroom); RELAXING SPACE which include kitchen, dining room and living room (he loved cooking and enjoying sharing thoughts with his friends while having meal); DREAMY SPACE which include bedroom and observatory as Kant was also an astronomer. Kant took a walk everyday after lunch to open up his mind. He has a theory which illustrate that all the complex things are simply different combination of the most original element. Based on his living&working needs and his theory, the logic of the building is generated: 3 of the most simple element - boxes which contain his 3 parts of life, are connected with a twisted path which can provide different perspectives on different height. The design intention is to create a journey which can provide the most efficient life-work relation with a multi-perspective journey inside and outside the building.


Site Analysis

Teaching & Administrative

Residential Area

SITE Sports Facilities Pedestrian

Living Facilities


The site is located in the central but undeveloped part of the campus.


SITE With forests and small river around, the site can provide nice and quite environment for Kant's personal life.


Plans + Sections

Scale: 1:150

Section A-A GF Plan

Relaxing Space - Living room+Kitchen






B 43

Inevetable Space - Working space+Bathroom



A 1.

F1 Plan



Section B-B F2 Plan

Roof Plan

Dreaming Space - Bedroom+Indoor Observatory






Roof top Observatory



B 44

Main Spaces

F2 - Bedroom + Observator

F1 - Working Space + Bathroom


Experiences on the Journey “The Journey is the Destination.” — Dan Eldon The journey can be extended to the whole campus. If Kant wonders where he should take a walk after lunch, this is the best path for him to go through. He will walk though various of places such as playground, stadium, exterior stage, student plaza and all the public spaces on the campus. He will meet various of people who are under different mood. He can watch people’s behavior quietly or talk to people to know what’s happening around. Then he will come back to his house and go through the spaces he is working and living in but from a different perspective. Finally he will stand on the top of the building where he can enjoy the full view of the context he has just walked through. This walk can be a generator of inspiration. He will have thousand of thoughts in mind everyday after this journey which can be worked on.Maybe one of them will be the starting point of a brand new philosophy system and will make contribution to the whole world. For Kant, this journey is his destination.


Gold Corner


N O.1 Ningbo Road is a renovation project which has just finished it’s conceptual design phase. The original building is called Shenhua Office Building which located in the bund area of Shanghai. However with the outdated design and poor maintenance, the building is loosing it’s attraction. The rent is surprisingly cheap for an central-located office building in Shanghai. I’m involved in all stages in this project, including current building analysis, facade renovation strategies and interior spatial design. With the aim of "low budget", we found 4 main problems of Shenhua building and proposed 5 simple yet effective facade renovation strategies for stronger branding and modern feeling. For the interior design,our intention is to create simple, elegant and flexible mixed-use meeting space which can draw people in and make this building alive again. Our methodology is design spaces through sketches, and try out material texture by making collages. Meanwhile we design details through 3D model building process.


Current Problems ① Interior outdated and in need of renewal ② Podium lack of public space to draw people in ③ Entrance is not inviting ④ No street presence - solid facade and inwards looking

Facade Renovation Strategy Modern dark metal frame entrance Replace F1 solid facade with glazing Add ads panel on "the gold corner" Add "clip on" LED light screen on podium glazing Building sinage on the top


Interior Space Design - Central Attraction

Retail Showroom

Retail Showroom Double Height Atrim

CAFE Flexible Meeting Space


New Central Staircase Flexible Meeting Space

Dark Grey Brushed Metal

Arison White Marble

Black Zebra Marble

Hanging Greenery


Interior Space Design - Entrance Hall


Dark Grey Brushed Metal

Arison White Marble

Oak Timber Flooring

Convex Bamboo Vaneer


SCULPTURE PROJECTS Part in Whole 2014 Spring _ USYD

Paticipants: Baicen ZHOU & Jiahui LI

How to translate a real life object into abstract element and create complex spatial effect with simple repeated modules in a certain system? The basic element of this sculpture piece came from a fold back clip which can form a triangle and then a 3D dome by the way they clip on each others’ end. The clip is simplified into 2D cardboard pieces with the outline and 3 typical intersections. With the flexibility of the cardboard, all pieces joint together to form a semisphere which has tessellation effect by repeated graphic pattern. Reflective silver paint has been used on the surface of each cardboard piece to create more dramatic visial effect. Under different lighting condition, exaggerated light and shadow effect can be created not only in the negative space the sculpture formed, but also on it’s reflective complex structure.



SCULPTURE PROJECTS The Pavilion 2014 Summer _ UNNC

Design Process


Paticipants: UNNC Architecture Department The pavilion is built for the 2014 Graduate Summer Exhibition consists of 3019 piece non-hierarchical surface structure that extends in three parts through the atrium of the Science and Engineering Building at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. As a spatial design element of the exhibition, the structure bends through the space, enclosing and framing the work of the students. As the exhibition covers students' work from four academic years, the pavilion meanders and grows in complexity through the space, metaphorically following the development of us in our studies as we advance in educational career. Each of the 3019 unique pieces in the structure is made of custom milled plywood. Each piece has four notches through which it is attached to four pieces. The structure is developed as a reciprocal from and adapted to the requirements of the space. We as a group were engaged in extensive design development and testing to finalize the conception, design, detailing and construction of the pavilion.

Testing Models

Exhibition Layout Y0 Work Students' Life Display Y3 Work

Y1 Work

Y2 Work Lift Lift


Baicen zhou portfolio 2015