Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University South Campus

- The world’s first Sino-British university between research led universities.
- A new joint between two existing universities
- An entirely new university campus within a defined city block designed to create a unique and inspiring place for education and research.
- A pioneering new approach that educates technical and managerial professionals with international perspectives and competitive capabilities.

The Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) was established in 2006 as a joint venture between the research-led University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University in the Chinese city of Suzhou. Following an international competition, BDP were appointed in 2013 to challenge the previous design approach and design the second phase ‘South Campus’ with an exciting new ‘sense of place’.

The recently completed South Campus provides 130,000m2 of diverse and adaptable academic and research space organised around a new garden park designed as a fusion between the best of eastern and western design. The final building in the materplan, the International Business School Suzhou opened to much applaud in September 2018.

The project represents a global collaboration between BDP studios in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Shanghai and the Shanghai design Institute, bringing together world-class experts in place-making, education, research and residential design with the local knowledge and culture of a Suzhou-based delivery team.


  • Project Name

    Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University South Campus

  • Location

    Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China

  • Category


  • Landscape Architect

    BDP Ltd

  • Client

    Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

  • Brief

    One of the most specific requirements of the XJTLU brief was to create a range of worldclass teaching and research facilities that would appeal in equal measure to the Chinese domestic market and potential international students. We did this by: - Utilising BDP’s ‘education space toolkit’ in consultation with user groups to explore the spectrum of activities they would be undertaking. - Using our toolkit and library of international education precedents to explore the types of spaces required for these activities. - Obtaining feedback from academics within the University and both international and Chinese students on these activates and spaces. - Creating unique and innovative learning environments in direct response to the feedback. It became clear during briefing that the masterplan layout lacks social identity and has poor physical connections between Faculties. We applied to challenge urban policy and explore a new way of developing the site that could marry the diverse requirements of worldclass education with the brief for a strong and distinct ‘sense of place’.

  • Awards

    Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019


  • Project Team

    Architect: BDP Shanghai in collaboration with BDP London, Glasgow, Manchester. Design stages from Concept, SD,PD plus design compliance monitoring of LDI construction stages. Civil & Structural Engineer: Suzhou LDI Building Services Engineer: Suzhou LDI Landscape Architect: BDP Manchester concept, BDP Shanghai onwards Interior Design: Space Invaders to SD level / BDP Shanghai PD plus design quality monitoring. Acoustics: Suzhou LDI Planning: As Architect Urban Design: As Architect Graphics & Wayfinding: BDP Shanghai concept, SD and PD

  • Year Completed


  • Project Size

    9.25 ha

  • Contract Value


  • BDP Ltd

    Registered Practice - (11 - 20 Employees)
  • Approximate Map Location


    Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China

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