HENN unveils design for China’s first Private Elite University

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HENN unveils design for China’s first Private Elite University

40 years after China opened itself up to the world in 1978, the Chinese education system is reaching a new milestone, symbolized with the founding of the Westlake University. China’s first private research university is aiming to establish itself as a cutting edge institution equal to rival other well world-class universities. The founding committee is made up of seven prestigious scientists one of which Prof. Shi Yigong, one of the world’s leading biologists and the future dean of the school. HENN was chosen the winner of an international design competition of Westlake University in July 2017.

The campus represents an exchange university for interdisciplinary studies, encouraging cooperation and communication between different research fields. This feature is clearly reflected through the master plan and building designs. The campus is characterized by the central institute buildings, which form the core of the campus on a circular island. The four research institutes for biology, medicine, natural sciences and engineering are all arranged around the Academic Loop, offering a joint communication and collaboration space. With a diameter of 300 meters, the curved central building connects the individual departments and embraces the inner campus park with the central academic hall. 12 bridges connect the Institute Island to the surrounding supporting areas comprising canteens, a library, a museum, residential and sports facilities as well as a conference hotel.

The University is intended to become the home of China’s top scientific talents with innovative and entrepreneurial spirits, who shall become the driving force of China’s future development. 200 professors and nearly 2,000 researchers are to teach 5,000 students and lead them to the top of the world.

The campus comprises an overall area of 600.000m² is set to be finished in September 2021.


Competition 1st prize 2017
Client Westlake Institute for Advanced Study
Architect HENN
Local partner UAD, Hangzhou, CN
Location Hangzhou, CN
Completion 2021

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