Zhongguancun Campus Master Plan

In anticipation of its 75th anniversary, Renmin University invited Hanbury to participate in a master planning competition for its Zhongguancun campus. Their goal was to develop the campus to reflect its international mission and status as one of the top universities in China. The varying campus architectural styles link its history with its future focus, but the campus environment lacked coherence and hierarchy.

Hanbury spent three days on campus with University leaders gaining insights into the University’s goals, history, aspirations and vision. The resulting plan reimagines the sprawling campus into a village of overlapping identifiable districts connected by the “People’s Walk," a unifying pedestrian experience that reflects a student's journey from arrival to graduation. Beginning at the East Gate across the campus to the West Gate, this path connects the districts and a new civic park using native plantings and sculptural elements in the landscape and on building facades to reinforce campus identity.

A contemporary architectural design vocabulary of low-cost, high impact interventions imbued with cultural meaning and reflective of historic elements created a bold transformation of existing buildings to better inform continuity from past to present. A new East Gate creates a monumental symbol for the University at the city edge and creates a civic plaza and culturally important portal into campus.

Through elegant landscape design, architectural updates that create a common language among its buildings, and an overall campus plan that reflects the University’s commitment to sustainability and stewardship, the Hanbury plan created a coherent framework for infill and growth that reflects Renmin’s future vision as a global institution.

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