Located at Tongjiawan, Zhuhai, United International College (UIC) is comprised of a full range of comprehensive educational facilities and dormitories with a total site area of 244,940 sq.m. and a total GFA of 67,410 sq.m. The educational facilities include an academic building, School of Music and Visual Arts, laboratories, library, lecture theatres, conference room, public facilities and sports facilities; while the dormitory section contains dormitories, a canteen, leisure and activity rooms, computer rooms and a gymnasium.
The campus was strategically designed to sit harmoniously within the natural topography and has a minimized site formation. The architect designed a greenbelt along the entire campus, which acts as a bond with the surrounding environment and an ancient village situated on the north-west side of the site. By fully integrating the campus into the natural environment in this way, a deep respect for nature is shown.
A Campus in a Town
Adopting the concept of “campus in a town”, the architect designed a greenbelt connecting the university community to the surrounding environment. On one hand, the campus geomorphically becomes a member of the town; while on the other, it completes the functionality of the town, which has traditionally suffered from a lack of educational and public facilities.
The Student Street as Veins on a Leaf
The main student street connects the campus lanes and alleyways together like the veins on a leaf. A covered walkway provides a comfortable environment for users in all weather. Buildings with different functions and exterior designs are compactly distributed along this main street, with the walking distance between any of the buildings being no more than ten minutes. This people-oriented design principle is also reflected in the ever-changing views along the pathway, which users can enjoy and appreciate during a relaxing moment.
Respecting Nature Through Preserving an Ancient Village
On the northwestern side of the campus, there is an ancient village which originated in the Qing Dynasty. In order to preserve its historical value and minimize the effects of construction work, the architect retained more land to use as a buffer zone. The building height was also restricted to 21m to maximize scenic views. Referencing the landscape design of the village, the layout of the campus streets were made similar to the village, strengthening the connection to the old town and elongating the overall space.
The architect also tried to preserve the original topography of the campus, insisting on retaining the pond and turning the land around the pond into an open grassland for leisure. The pond has been overlaid by bridges which add aesthetic embellishments to the campus.
A Sustainable Mixed-Use Development
UIC adopted a mixed-use development strategy for every building, which maximizes the usage of land. Each building also contains numerous sustainable elements. For example, the library is covered by a glass exterior which maximizes sunlight, while green space around the dormitories increases natural ventilation. Other active sustainable systems applied include vertical green walls, green roofs, and solar hot water systems.