Suzhou, CN


Duke University Kunshan Campus

Futurepolis won the international competition in 2010 with an innovative ecological concept, which was carried out in the following four years. The first phase of Duke University Campus occupies more than 200 acres and consists of five complexes including an academic center, a convention center, an innovative center, student dormitories and faculty housings.

The ecological concept links all existing as well as new landscape elements in the site – water, stone, wetlands, plants, and pavements – into a new environmental system facilitating interactions between buildings and the nature. Here the ecology is presented as a dynamic system, rather than static objects or views, in the way in which such natural phenomena as the changing colors of plants in four seasons and the ocean tide occur.  

This idea informed the design of the central lake area consisting of a series of waterfront plazas on different levels connected to an artificial island at the center of water also with platforms of different height. As water level fluctuates, the character of these outdoor spaces changes among plazas, amphitheater, outdoor classrooms, open-air teahouse, and open corridors suitable for various uses like ceremony, study, and leisure. The edge of lake was designed with special details including a ring of safety platform underwater and low benches, instead of high railing, to enable people to appreciate water more closely.

Duke University Kunshan Campus opened in 2015. Its unique landscape has become part of the university’s identity. The thorough ecological design also won a LEED Silver Certification.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Kunshan, CN
Firm Role: Landscape Design