SHoP Architects has broken ground on Fulbright University Vietnam, the country’s first independent, not-for profit institution of higher education. Formed as part of a 15-hectare flagship campus, the project is located within Saigon High Tech Park in District 9 of Ho Chi Minh City. The university was designed to serve Vietnamese society through innovative teaching programs and research aimed at supporting Vietnam’s continued development.
Fulbright University's campus is designed by SHoP after an international competition in 2017 to establish a master plan for the project. The first development phase for the flagship campus is to be completed by 2022 to provide a new home for students. The academic and student life buildings and central lawn form the nucleus of the campus in phase 1, from which Fulbright will expand in subsequent phases. The main gateway building located at the head of the lawn will house a distinctive amphitheater located at center of the space, as well as the student center and library.
“We at Fulbright are excited to see the efforts of planning, fundraising and negotiation merge into this realization. The university has always made a priority of providing competencies-based, experiential learning opportunities for our students. This flagship campus affords us opportunities for growth in these areas through innovative, newer technologies and flexible learning spaces,” said Dam Bich Thuy, President of Fulbright University Vietnam.
Water features play an important role in the landscaping of the Fulbright campus. Rain is a key aspect of life in Ho Chi Min City and water management is critical to the resiliency of the campus and the project’s goals of environmental stewardship. The Fulbright buildings celebrate this key feature of the local environment, integrating drainage and water reclamation into visible design elements throughout the campus and the landscape.
“We are thrilled to break ground on this world-class university. The opportunity to collaborate with the Fulbright team to develop the university’s programs and spaces at the same time is both an honor and an exciting challenge, and we look forward to creating a beautifully crafted and modern campus that serves its students through innovative teaching programs,” said Gregg Pasquarelli, a Founding Principal at SHoP Architects.
The campus is designed as a primary teaching tool in and of itself—an example of sustainable planning and engineering practices that acts as a model for responsible growth both locally and internationally. SHoP is benchmarking the project against other comparable global institutions and seeking LEED and LOTUS accreditation.
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