Merit - SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture for Open Space Planning

Xinyang University

Xinyang University South Bay Campus
Xinyang University - Xinyang University South Bay Campus
Jury Comments
“very thorough site analysis . . . plan took inspiration from landscape . . . the plan made the landscape analysis a meaningful driver for campus decisions . . . deep understanding of location clearly evident . . . beautiful”


    • Site – 212 acres; Building – 4.9 million gsf
    • The plan celebrates XYU’s topography and natural
    • The valley is transformed into a primary campus
      amenity, integrating water management systems, diversity of natural habitat, spaces for student recreation, and outdoor learning.
    • Key drivers of the plan include sustainable energy, waste management, and construction phasing.
    • Building orientation, massing, height, and section are optimized to take advantage of natural ventilation and daylighting.
    • A community center located at the entry engages the external community and provides shared spaces for gathering, awareness, and exchange.
    • Building and key program destinations are concentrated within a 5-minute walk, making the campus a completely pedestrian environment.


With 22,000 students on the current campus, the master plan will enable the university to accommodate a projected growth of 17,000 students within a decade. The primary objective of the planning process was to develop a campus that is conducive to the realization of the university’s mission: to redefine liberal arts education in China by creating a new pedagogical model that embraces multidisciplinary learning, to become China’s leading residential university, and to formulate a new paradigm that focuses on developing socially conscious and collaborative professionals.

A careful analysis of the existing XYU campus, quality of the learning and student life environment, pedagogy, and student demographics were benchmarked against global standards and right-sized to develop an appropriate yet forward-thinking program for the new XYU South Bay Campus.

With inspiration from the natural communities of Xinyang, the campus includes landscapes that range from formal campus areas to an array of naturalistic habitats, each with its own aesthetic, management processes, and ecological considerations. From restored wooded hilltops to diverse wetlands that convey and treat stormwater, plants are chosen to provide resources for wildlife throughout the year while considering seasonal interest for student recreation. A tiered network of pedestrian paths connects the entire campus within a 10-minute walk.

A comprehensive array of social, communal, and recreational facilities form the armature of student life on campus. Academic and social life are thought of as seamlessly integrated, and a series of indoor and outdoor gathering spaces and courtyards supported by a series of interactive hubs (café, digital library, recreation facilities) are created throughout the plan to support informal learning, gathering, and socializing. Student housing is organized into a series of tight-knit clusters integrated into the topography with lower levels housing shared academic and social spaces that encourage community building and create strong ties back to academic teaching and learning.

Overall, the master plan embodies XYU’s vision to create a truly integrated and sustainable campus that will provide a transformative living and learning experience for students and faculty.

Project Team