As the first and only offshore campus, the HKUST Graduate School is strongly committed to the internationalisation of its education and students experience. The rapidly growing market economy of China is creating a demand for graduates who have an international qualification, fluent English skills and the ability to integrate into a global environment. Taken as a unique project in a unique location, the new facility will set new standards both academically and architecturally to meet the demands of the 21st century.

The new campus building is located inside the existing Nasha IT Park. A clear hierarchy of buildings is centered around the north south axis of the main conference and training center. Our proposal builds on this idea of ‘campus urbanism’ through combining the traditional chinese landscape with contemporary architectural expression; the campus in a campus model. In contrast to the large one building complex and urban setting of the Hong Kong Campus. The Nansha Campus will be a green and rural ambience between water and mountains suitable for a unique academic research lifestyle.

The main entrance to the new campus building is aligned with existing water of the central axis creating three clear zones; the ‘wet’ laboratories to the north, common central spaces in the middle and the ‘dry’ administrative buildings to the south. A unique spatial experience is established through both cascading water and green park spaces that flow and overlap with the architecture, that we feel is conducive for new types of learning spaces encouraging chance meetings. Elevations explore ancient chinese screening patterns shielding the sun.

Location: Guangzhou, CN
Year: 2006
Competition: First prize
Site: 4.5 ha
Program: 47,000 m2 education space for postgraduate education and research programs
Client: HKUST Trust, Hong Kong
Associates: NODE Architects
Engineer: ABT, THAD
Building costs: Euro 25,000,000