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BDP completes Chinese university campus

BDP has completed the south campus at Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, China following the opening of the International Business School (IBSS). We won the competition to masterplan the campus in 2012, and have designed all six of the faculty buildings and the public spaces which make up the campus.

The new IBSS provides 30,000 sqm flexible accommodation for the school’s three core areas of activity: research, learning and teaching, business engagement. The new building looks inwards facing the lake at the heart of the campus and its highly glazed east facing façade activates interaction between the interior and the landscape around the lake, while the glass louvres are designed to maximise natural daylight minimising solar gain.

The building facilitates a diverse range of flexible social and learning environments including a welcome and exhibition area, a café, games area, learning resource centre and an innovation hub.

Architect associate Michael Cambden said: “Articulation of the glazing, structure and louvres creates a screen that combines elements of eastern and western design to reflect the international status of the school.”

The previous phase which completed in 2016 includes world-class teaching, laboratory and research facilities, a humanities building, science building and training centre, and international exchange centre.

The new campus has a circular form and the buildings are arranged around a central landscaped courtyard space accessed by a single and centrally located entrance boulevard. Two of the buildings strongly define the southern urban edge forming an entrance gateway and creating an impressive sense of arrival. The 14 storey laboratory building, which is the tallest, is located on the axis of the main boulevard and acts as a beacon making circulation and wayfinding clear and convenient. The courtyard contains smaller pavilion buildings encouraging social interaction at the very heart of the campus.

XJTLU was set up in 2006 as a joint venture between the University of Liverpool and Xi'an Jiaotong University, and was the first one of its kind approved by the Ministry of Education in China.