The architecture of education in Canberra and Beijing

CIW building

Designing major buildings in an environment of profound institutional change offers challenges to any architect with an interest in the making of practical, but also aesthetically significant (and therefore personally conducive) spaces for research, teaching, online work and public as well as policy engagement in a university.

This illustrated CIW Annual Lecture by the Beijing-based architect Gerald Szeto will discuss the design concepts and practical issues encountered during the creation of the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) Building, as well as in the development of his earlier design of the Stanford Center at Peking University.

Gerald is presently engaged in a major new project in Beijing, the creation of the Yenching Academy, an undertaking that will revitalise the heart of the campus of Peking University, the old Yenching University designed and built in the 1920s. In his talk Gerald will preview elements of this landmark design.

Other members of the CIW architectural team, and CIW academics involved in the realisation of Gerald’s vision, will be present at the talk to contribute to the discussion of what is a unique international home for the study of the Chinese world.

The Fourth CIW Annual Lecture to be delivered by Mr Gerald Szeto preceded by a musical prologue by Guzheng artist Ms Wu Fei.

About the speakers

Gerald Szeto 司徒佐 is a Beijing-based architect with Mo Atelier Szeto Architects. In recent years he has designed academic buildings, offices, museums and hotels, as well as the interior design of commercial, hospitality, retail and residential projects. Recent projects include the Stanford Center and Yenching Academy, both at Peking University, and the United World College in Changshu, Jiangsu province. In 2011, Gerald designed the Australian Centre on China in the World Building at The Australian National University, completed early this year. Prior to the establishment of Mo Atelier Szeto Architects in Beijing in 2006, Gerald had over twenty years of experience working with the internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei on such China-based iconic structures as the Hong Kong Bank of China Tower, the Bank of China Head Office Building in Beijing, the Suzhou Museum and the Chancery Building for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to the United States in Washington DC. Originally from New York, Gerald received a degree in architecture from Cornell University.

Wu Fei 吳非was born and raised in Beijing and is a composer, vocalist, and performer of the Guzheng (Chinese zither). She holds an MA in Composition from Mills College. Wu Fei has performed and recorded with musicians such as John Zorn, Fred Frith, Secret Chiefs 3, Carla Kilhstedt and Abigail Washburn. Her most recent release is Pluck (2011), the eponymous record of her duo with Brooklyn-based classical guitarist Gyan Riley.


Gerald Szeto

Dates & times

Monday, 5 May 2014

5.30pm - 7.30pm


Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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