Cyprus International University campus masterplan; Cyprus International University campus masterplan;

Cyprus International University Campus Masterplan, Nicosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Enhancing the student experience in a Mediterranean University Campus

Cyprus International University (CIU) is growing – both in size and in aspiration. Located near the country’s capital, Nicosia, the University has ambitious plans to increase its students from 17,000 to 24,000 by 2022. Arup was invited to develop a masterplan to guide and deliver its growth plans, considering its future academic and social needs.

We have worked with the client since 2017, first developing a vision, then advising on its implementation. Throughout the process, we engaged with the wider University community to shape the vision for the future physical development of the campus and translated this into a framework for implementation. We are currently working to deliver the first changes on the ground.

The masterplan, which drew upon the expertise of our Urban Design, Landscape and City Economics teams, is formed around 3 key principles:

  • building on the strengths of the University and establishing a testbed for new ways of learning beyond the classroom;

  • recognising its location and landscape setting as a Mediterranean campus; and 

  • enhancing the synergies and relationships between academia and the wider community.

Project Summary

60 hectares in a semi-urban landscape setting

12new faculty and ancillary buildings

30%increased built area

A growing campus

The initial brief included a series of new buildings to home a range of faculties varying from Medicine to Fine Arts & Architecture. We conducted an analysis of the campus operations which revealed the need to consider the programme in clusters rather than in isolation. In response, Arup proposed the inclusion of a new Central Library, Convention Center and Innovation Center (the Ideas Nest) to help unlock new synergies within the campus. Several campus-wide initiatives such as new amenities, open spaces, and services for students were also considered, as well as retrofit of the existing infrastructure. Our aim was to prepare the University for growth as well as bring the programme together as a whole, enhancing the experience of being in a cohesive campus.

existing configuration of the campus existing configuration of the campus existing configuration of the campus
The existing configuration of the campus is challenged with the introduction of a much more public area in the Civic Cluster.

Arup was very instrumental in looking at CIU in a completely different light, not only in ways that affect the quality of education delivered inside and outside the classroom but also the overall student experience. The vision Arup put forward, once implemented, will not only enable us to stay relevant but also put us ahead so we can become a preferred higher education institution in the region. ” Mete Boyaci Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cyprus International University (CIU)

New ways of learning

The masterplan is focused on the quality of the student experience. By looking at learning beyond the formal walls of the classroom, the enviable campus landscape is an asset providing a unique opportunity for informal learning. A collaboration with Arup’s Digital Studio helped us develop a series of smaller interventions to sit alongside the masterplan and provide the finer grain of design detail to support new ways of learning. These light-touch interventions include pop-up podiums, study nooks, student-run shops and a live feed wall.

A Mediterranean campus

The campus is located in an impressive setting, with beautiful views of the mountain range to the north and a watercourse along its west, bridging between a natural and semi-urban landscape. Moreover, the hot, semi-arid climate of Nicosia makes microclimate engineering and the conscious use and management of resources a necessity.

The sustainable systems devised for water, energy and waste management implemented by CIU will position it as an exemplar model for both clean energy and circular economy initiatives, and enable students to engage in sustainability initiatives. CIU is able to generate 35% of its annual electricity demand on site and a future biofuel plant will increase the autonomy capacity of the campus to over 60%. We carried out an in-depth assessment of these systems and proposed guidelines and initiatives to ensure a continued sustainable future for the University.

In terms of sustainability, Cyprus International University ranks 220th worldwide and 66th among suburban campuses according to UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2019. It is the first University in Northern Cyprus that participated in the ranking.
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  • Architecture, Construction & Design Awards 2020 - Urban Design (Built)

  • MIPIM Awards 2021 - Best Cultural & Sport Infrastructure

Building wider relationships

The new public realm on campus will attract the wider community from beyond the site and further connections are being established with the local businesses, academic and cultural organisations, as well as other relevant institutions. The new Ideas Nest will enable knowledge-sharing and collaboration unveiling a possibility for innovation and R&D investment opportunities in the region. Similarly, the new Heritage Museum and Convention Center will enable the University to strengthen its linkages with the tourism and trade sectors, while the new sustainability initiatives and medical faculties will ensure CIU is well-placed to develop opportunities which arise from the future growth of sectors such as renewable energy and healthcare.


Delivering the vision

Working collaboratively with CIU enabled us to successfully deliver a masterplan of real value which responds to the needs of the students, academics and staff, and benefits the wider community of Nicosia and the region. Key moves include: 

  • engaging with the wider community to invite civic uses into the campus;

  • encouraging active travel through better pedestrian connectivity, quality and comfort, supported by an efficient parking and public transport strategy;

  • celebrating the Mediterranean landscape and the opportunities for learning beyond the classroom; and

  • reinforcing a new centrality within the campus as an interface between different academic disciplines.

Our work has been well-received by the University and we continue to advise them on the architectural delivery of the masterplan.

The CIU Campus Masterplan expands on our growing portfolio of knowledge environment projects which include: Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridgeshire; Imperial College White City, London; and Coventry University.

Learn more about our masterplanning expertise