Sasaki - EIT Campus Masterplan, creating a dynamic and multifaceted living-learning environment
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EIT Campus Masterplan, creating a dynamic and multifaceted living-learning environment


Education  /  Future

The New York Times article "Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates" sheds light on the rapid growth and transformation of China's higher education system. With this trend, an international design competition was launched in 2022 to seek innovative design ideas that would integrate global perspectives for the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Ningbo, China. This competition entry draws inspiration from 21st-century pedagogy to create a dynamic and multifaceted living-learning environment, breaking down long-standing academic silos and fostering interdisciplinary research.

The Eastern Institute of Technology, located in Ningbo, China, is a prestigious research university poised to unveil its waterfront campus. For generations, the region's waterways and canals have flowed as vital arteries, enabling transportation, fostering commerce, and profoundly shaping the fabric of daily life and settlement patterns. Inspired by this profound cultural heritage and the city's enduring connection with water, the master plan for EIT's waterfront campus aspires to establish an unparalleled living-learning environment that is uniquely Ningbo and with a global perspective.

To promote sustainability and healthy hydrology, the design methodology integrates the intricate waterway system on campus, drawing inspiration from the cultural heritage of water transportation to forge a distinctive campus environment. Meandering pathways and cascading water features emulate the natural flow of a river. Sustainability and resilience are key considerations, as demonstrated by the incorporation of green roofs and rain gardens to manage stormwater and reduce the campus's environmental footprint. Given the region's unique climatic characteristics, such as a prolonged rainy season and monsoons, the campus design promotes resilience and addresses increasing inundation and flooding through careful consideration of the canal network on campus.

By integrating global perspectives with a compelling local narrative, EIT's waterfront campus aspires to establish an unparalleled living-learning environment that embraces sustainability, cultural identity, and collaborative 21st-century pedagogy as its guiding principles.

The campus plan emerged from an exhaustive design process and deep engagement with stakeholders and school leadership to identify key priorities. A primary challenge posed by the campus's linear site layout is the physical barriers that hinder connection and collaboration due to the surrounding infrastructure. The proposed EIT Walk, a pedestrian-oriented corridor, integrates transportation, essential amenities, and all academic programs. The campus layout encourages physical activity while fostering interactions among students. Meandering pathways, courtyards, and flexible spaces form a series of social nodes.

The architectural language draws inspiration from conventional wisdom in vernacular architecture and landscapes. A multi-leveled arcade system connects the outdoors with classrooms, traversing the rich research, academic, and recreational programs on all floors.

The campus is designed to accommodate future expansion and evolution, ensuring its adaptability to changing educational needs and priorities. It serves as a research platform that fosters collaboration among students and faculty and provides opportunities for research and experimentation in collaboration with local industries.

By honoring the unique cultural heritage and deep-rooted connection to water, EIT's waterfront campus is not only a new research-centered modern campus but also serves as a living-learning testament to lifelong learning, empowering future generations of scholars and innovators.


 Eastern Institute of Technology
 Higher Education Campus
 1530000 mq
 Sasaki, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, GAD
 Dennis Pieprz, Pablo Savid-Buteler, Tao Zhang, Romil Sheth, Ming-Jen Hsueh, Muhan Cui, Shih-hao Liao, Junran Yang, Xiangzhou Xu, Xu Han, Chuyi Yin, Fan Yang, Brendan Rogers, Natalia Gonzalez, Audra White, Lishunxiang Luo, Mingyang Sun


For 70 years, Sasaki has pioneered interdisciplinary design by integrating architecture, interior design, planning and urban design, space planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and ecology to shape the places around the globe. Out of Boston, Denver, New York City, and Shanghai offices, Sasaki is a diverse practice of over 350 professionals who share a singular passion for creating authentic, equitable, and inspiring places. Sasaki’s work has been recognized by over 900 major design awards. Sasaki is the only firm in the world that has won the prestigious Best Firm of the Year awards from both ASLA and APA.

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