The Places We Go! Spectacular Buildings of University Town of Shenzhen

The University Town of Shenzhen (UTSZ) is the gold standard for university towns in China. When it comes to academics, it has an unbeatable combination of academic powerhouses, housing three of China’s premier higher education institutions: Peking University (PKU), Tsinghua University (THU) and the Harbin Institute of Science and Technology (HIT).

Even more, it combines this academic excellence with the stunning natural beauty of southern China. Shenzhen’s main river, the Dasha River, cuts through the center of the campus, the vibrant Rainbow Bridge overhead connects PKU students and faculty living areas with the rest of UTSZ.

Just from the surface, it’s easy to see why UTSZ has gained such a strong reputation.

Glimpse of UTSZ

How about a trip inside UTSZ? Let’s dig a little deeper, look under the surface and explore some of the iconic buildings.

Aerial view of PKU Shenzhen (2019)

UTSZ Map (source: sougou baike)

The University Town of Shenzhen is located in the northeast of Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. It is next to the Shenzhen Safari Park and close to Shenzhen High-tech Industrial Park. UTSZ has a core public area at the center of its campus. The campuses of Tsinghua University, Peking University, Harbin Institute of Technology and their living areas surround the public area in a radial structure to ensure convenient connections between campuses and the public area.

Let’s take a look at 3 of the main buildings inside UTSZ.

Peking University: HSBC Business School Building

One of the most outstanding buildings in the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (PKUSZ) campus is the Peking University HSBC Business School Building. With Tanglang Mountain off in the distant background and facing the Dasha River, it occupies a central, pristine location inside UTSZ. It was officially put into use in November 2013. The total area in the teaching building is 10392 square meters with a construction area of 60,000 square meters. The height is 33 meters with seven floors above ground and two floors underground.

PHBS Building

The PHBS building won the outstanding design prize awarded by the American School & University. In 2017, it became the first business school building in the world to receive LEED Platinum Certification. Earlier this year, it successfully passed the verification of the International WELL Building Research Institute (IWBI) . It is the first building in the Chinese education field to have won these honors.

The design of this building is full of green and environmental genes and people-oriented thinking. The outer wall of the building uses XR2 super energy-saving glass and energy-saving stone as building materials to ensure the natural lighting of the building; the air conditioner uses frequency conversion multi-connection as the cold and heat source. And the floor height makes the lower air supply system improve the cooling effect and reduce energy consumption. A rainwater recovery system has also been built in the college building. The recovered rainwater is simply treated and used to supplement the landscape pool. This measure can reduce the use of 2265 tons of drinking water each year. These features mentioned above ensure this building is an environmentally friendly teaching building, and greatly reduces operating costs.

‘Thinking boxes’ in PHBS Building

Based on the characteristics of the business school building, the institute places emphasis on communication. There are large open spaces and some small and private spaces in various forms in the building. For example, the protruding ‘thinking boxes’ on each floor provide excellent natural light for group discussions. 

Tsinghua University: Information Building

The newest building in the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School is the Information Building. As a comprehensive building that serves both professors and students, it has various highlights. It is one of the tallest buildings in UTSZ, with twenty-two floors above ground and two underground.

Information Building of Tsinghua SIGS

The design of the building inherits the architectural style of Tsinghua University. If you look closely, the building’s design references the traditional red color of the Beijing campus. The first floor of the building adopts a red copper fan arc wall. Considering the hot sunny days of southern China, the large areas use white as the background color.

A gorgeous book bar is located on the ground floor of the building. Prominent areas inside the building also have a scientific and technological achievement exhibition, a school history exhibition, cafe, science education center, community activity area and academic forum area.

Since the building is for office and scientific research, there are many laboratories and offices. Besides this, there are some informal teaching spaces as part of the shared space system, encouraging the collision of ideas. It also introduces the concept of healthy work into the scientific research space to realize humanistic care. Laboratories and teaching spaces can have a variety of modes to meet the needs of different test areas.

Black swans in the pond outside the Information Building

Outside the building, there are beautiful gardens and a pond, along with public activity spaces for leisure time. Sometimes there are cute black swans in the pond looking for food as people pass by.

University Town of Shenzhen: UTSZ Library and Shenzhen Library of Science and Technology

This library is one of the oldest buildings in the university town. As the first library to combine public and academic functions, it was designed to have a holding capacity of 1.5 million volumes, 3000 seats, 1700 data ports, and 8000 daily visitors. It is open to both students of UTSZ and the general public for work and study. To meet the broad public and academic needs, the library’s collection development policy places equal importance on ‘hard copy’ documents and its electronic database. Also, it joined the CALIS (China Academic Library & Information System) and established a good relationship with NSTL (National Science and Technology Library) to provide readers rich resources. There are many lectures in different fields held monthly in the library, attracting people from all walks of life. To enrich the leisure and artistic activities of citizens, there are calligraphy, painting and other cultural exhibitions held in the library building.

UTSZ Library (Source:

Written by Zemei