RMJM, a UK company, has won a project to design a unique campus in Suzhou.
The UK based practice was appointed by the Suzhou Industrial Park Education Development Investmentto design a campus to house advanced teaching facilities – the ‘Public Academy’ in the Du Shu Hu higher education district of Suzhou.
Suzhou, which has the second highest GDP per capita of all China’s 659 cities, trailing only nearby Shanghai, has experienced the fastest economic growth in the country over the past 10 years. In addition to being one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, it is renowned for its focus on education and has produced some of the country’s most high profile scholars and business people.
The province of Jiangsu, in which Suzhou is located, has the largest number of higher education institutions in the country with 105 universities and colleges and an annual enrolment of around a million students.
The Public Academy is RMJM’s first full higher education campus in China and is the first project to come out of its Global Education Studio, launched last year and combining the educational design expertise of over 100 architects across its worldwide network, with a twin-base in Cambridge, UK and Princeton in New Jersey, US.
The 120,000 square metre campus is set to provide education facilities for undergraduates and graduates, a professional development centre and spaces for research units which are able to support small-scale prototyping and manufacturing on site.
Scottish Architecture reports the campus, which is expected to be completed in 2012, will also offer sporting and recreation facilities for the wider community, including public gardens.