MArch in English

Students' Work

In recent years China has experienced rapid change, including an unprecedented rate of urbanization. The EPMA design studios are focused on topics related to these contemporary urban and architectural developments.

In the first year, students are familiarized with the Chinese context, by addressing issues such as globalization in relation to local identity, history of Chinese architecture and modern city planning and industrial heritage transformation. In addition we highly value the application of modern computer techniques, a comprehensive, integrated design approach and a focus on sustainable building strategies, which are all addressed and taught during these first two semesters.

In the second year, students are set free to choose a topic of their final thesis according to their personal motivation and capacities, under the direction of their chosen Tsinghua professor, and implement the knowledge they obtained in the first year. There are three basic constraints for the chose topic. First, the site has to be in China, secondly, the topic has to relate to current issues of urbanization in China, thirdly, the end result has to include an architectural intervention.

The following pages show a selection of recent student works.


Studio Examples

Studio 1:

Parametric Urbanism

This initial catalogue of cities, and the urban parameters from conventional design methods and systems will form the metrics and the “code” for this studio. These are used to design a typical Chinese block structure within a city master plan.

Studio 2:


For this studio we use a holistic approach, integrating site conditions, architectural opportunities, materials, program and the input from you as a designer to create an architectural interventions that is not just an object in itself, but rather a place embedded within the tissue of the overall framework.

In particular we deal with the definition of space, the creation of participative places and the investigation of open-ended spatial design.

Studio 3:

Sustainable City Planning

This project aims to revitalize the Shuimo Community Village on the West of Tsinghua University in order to redeem its original value in such a way that it could become one of the active agents and integrations that benefit the university's development into a successful open campus.

Studio 4:

Green Building Strategies

Using computer simulations, the effects of passive design strategies, such as the form of the buildings, the positioning, the possibility of making use of solar energy for heating purposes, cooling, ventilation and power generation to ensure comfort, are investigated.



Thesis Examples


Martijn de Geus the Netherlands

2011 - Er’tong Urban Oasis

First Prize Winner of the open, international ‘Architects In Mission Competition’ 2011

The Project focusses on creating a specific local identity rather than a generic solution. It is based upon the understanding of the regional urban framework and specific Beijing Urban Typologies. that create particular local identities.

Irwan Soetikno Indonesia

2012 - Hybrid Urban Village

This proposal concerns the urban regeneration of an urban village at a post industrialized site close to Suzhou Creek, Shanghai, by exploring a complementary hybrid building typology in addition to the dilapitated local building stock.

Ilyas Sadybekov Kazachstan

2012 - Social Housing as Identity

This thesis states that social housing in China is no longer a question of shelter or of adaptation of pure economical optimization, but an integral component of the urban structure, an expression of positive continuity, opposed to gentrification, a facilitator of existing and new social relations, an identity giver.

Joseph Ng New Zealand

2013 - City as a Stage

The purpose of this research has elaborated the ‘City As a Stage’ approach to give an opportunity to bring the Chinese Opera art form to contemporary society through architecture.

Anna Riedinger Germany

2013 - City as a Stage

The purpose of this research has elaborated the ‘City As a Stage’ approach to give an opportunity to bring the Chinese Opera art form to contemporary society through architecture.


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