Addressing the need for technology-focused higher education in China, the challenge for the joint developers, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the City of Shanghai, was addressing the changing nature of scientific research within an extremely limited timeframe. Undertaken within an international competition, the new university, centered within the Zhang Jiang Science and Technology Park, was envisioned to become a world-class higher education research institution and the center of the region’s intellectual growth.
The master plan focuses on distinct yet interconnected settings for academic and student life. The Crescent, linking administration, education and library facilities, fronts the campus’ Great Lawn and main entry gate. Extending northwards radially from the Lawn are three axes of differing landscaped characters – each a linear “Green” defining the campus’ three primary neighborhoods. The five Schools are gathered along the central academic quad encouraging cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary research. Four of the Schools, the Incubator and Residential Village are linked by The Gallery, a curved, covered multi-use promenade, connecting the campus community and creating opportunities for planned collaborations and chance encounters. Developed with an integrated below-grade service level and a wide variety of passive and active energy production and conservation strategies, the master plan strives to be a leading example of sustainable resource stewardship.
As the University has become occupied, the master plan is considered a new generation of campus design in China – one that fosters faculty and student engagement across disciplines encouraging scientific innovation and entrepreneurial achievement. Neighboring high-tech facilities and a surrounding canal system set the stage for a new academic environment, deeply rooted in its place while establishing its own sense of identity, where world-changing research is accomplished.