Duke Kunshan University’s campus is a seamless blend of traditional Chinese design and advanced technology in a spacious, modern setting. Its many aquatic features, including a large central pond, symbolize the area’s famous water towns, while world-class information technology systems provide instant connections with colleagues and classmates around the world.
Covering 200 acres within Kunshan’s Yangcheng Lake Science Park, the first phase of construction included classrooms and research spaces, student and faculty residences, dining facilities, an executive conference center, and recreation and leisure areas.
Designed by Gensler, the internationally renowned architecture firm, the Duke Kunshan campus aims to be a model of sustainable development, reflective of the natural and cultural context of the Yangtze River Delta region.
As the original site had a high water table, designers elected to preserve 40 acres as community gardens, much in the way Duke University’s campus in North Carolina is carefully nestled in a forest. Duke Kunshan’s campus highlights its regional geography with landscaped gardens, wetlands and waterways.
It was also designed to be energy efficient; the use of daylight, solar shading, passive cooling and natural flood controls were informed by centuries of experience dealing with the local climate and terrain. Duke Kunshan was the first Chinese university campus to receive LEED Gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council.
With offices and classrooms over three floors, the building houses teaching programs and administrative staff, as well as an auditorium, library, cafe, ballroom and two dining rooms.
An open central atrium serves as a campus “living room,” emblematic of Duke Kunshan’s emphasis on collaboration and community.
The atrium and roof terraces provide views of the campus and a lake to the west.