The Suzhou Galactic Super Campus project is an open compound modern industrial park covering an area of 450,000sq.m with a building area of approximately 1,000,000 sq.m.

This project is located near the City of Suzhou in the Wujiang District of the City. The existing site is the home to the elevator manufacturing industry for China. In order to realize the park operations concept of “green, ecological, intelligent and sharing”, the design integrates different industrial formats and production processes through unique space prototypes to create a leading intelligent manufacturing space at home and abroad.

Creating a ‘Super Campus’ required a new thought process from the original work that had been developed on this scheme to date by other design teams. The previous design attempts we concluded to be  incoherent and disconnected combining many different design styles and construction methods therefore creating greater expense to build and losing the design DNA of the project.

Our goal therefore was to focus on the aspiration of the Chairman of CRRC (Client) to produce a masterplan design that has a vision and iconic land presence about it. A strong masterplan requires logical and strong geometry that can form efficient and flexible spaces that can adapt, produce intuitive way finding and create community within.

The conceptual design happened very naturally as sketches and discussions within our design team. The epicenter of the site formed a radial geometry that as the function and content expanded ‘ringed’ the site like a section through a tree trunk which organically expands it’s rings as it grows through time.

The activity is focused on a central ‘vortex’ of diverse and collaborative space from which specific functional areas radiate outwards towards the edge of the site. This concentric expansion outwards from a hub generates a flexible, site wide spatial strategy where manufacturing, industrial and R&D zones are spun ‘centrifugally’ from the centre of the site and relate to one another forming a cohesive Super campus masterplan. Zones throughout the site are connected via multi level walkways and arterial landscaped connections.

Situated along these routes are numerous landscaped gardens and external breakout areas creating meditative space for cognition and further collaboration. The concept is fully flexible and expandable – new ideas, concepts and partnerships radiate across the site and can be accommodated within phased development along the concentric grid.The realisation of this concept will create a visionary and iconic Super Campus for the 21st Century.

The innovative approach to the planning and integration of functions provided the client the successful ‘green, ecological, intelligent and sharing’ platform demanded by the brief and site. The design encapsu­lated a futuristic, forward thinking and technological outlook that matched that of the client.

The main activities focus on the central “vortex”, and the diversified and cooperative production spaces ra­diate outward from the specific functional area of the vortex to the edge of the vortex. The manufacturing, plant and R & D areas rotate “centrifugally” around the centre of the plan and are interrelated to form a cohesive super plant master plan. At the same time, the park landscape continues the radial theme to form an overall and unified community space. In addition, the buildings respect and protect river resources to the greatest extent through careful planning and orientation. The roof landscaping and photovoltaic panels also respond to the overarching concept of “green ecology”.