The school, situated in the ancient city of Suzhou which lies 80km to the west of Shanghai, makes up the last building of XJTLU. BDP was appointed in 2012 to masterplan the large-scale campus to provide world-class teaching, laboratory and research facilities, and has already designed five faculty buildings on the site.
This latest commission will provide 30,000sqm flexible accommodation for the school’s three core areas of activity: research, learning and teaching, business engagement.
The new building will look inwards facing the lake at heart of the campus. It has been designed with a highly glazed east-facing façade which activates interaction between the interior and the landscape around the lake. The detail of the glass louvres has been developed to maximise natural daylight while minimising solar gain.
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 truly the international status of the school.”
The building facilitates a diverse range of flexible learning environments, and is designed so that every part of the building is used fully throughout the day. The atrium accommodates a diverse range of social and learning spaces including a welcome and exhibition area, a café, games area, learning resource centre and an innovation hub.
XJTLU is a new international university founded in 2006 by Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, and the University of Liverpool, UK as a joint venture, and is the first and only one of its kind approved by the Ministry of Education in China.