A recipient of Doctor of Design Degree at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Kongjian Yu is the founder of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Cheung Kong Scholar Chair Professor of Design at Peking University, and one of China’s National Thousand Talents. He is the founder of Turenscape, one of the first and largest private architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism practices in China. His pioneering research on the ‘ecological security patterns’ and ‘sponge cities’ have been adopted by the Chinese government as the guiding theory for national land use planning, eco-city campaign, and urban ecological restoration. He has won numerous international awards for his ecologically and culturally sensitive projects, including twelve ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Excellence and Honor Awards, a ULI (Urban Land Institute) Global Award of Excellence in 2009, and four World Best Landscape Awards at the World Architecture Festival (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015). A native of China’s Zhejiang Province, his guiding design principles are the appreciation of the ordinary, such as rural agricultural landscapes, and a deep embracing of nature, even in its potentially destructive aspects, such as urban flooding. 

Yu has published 25 books and over 300 papers, and is founder and chief editor of the award winning magazine Landscape Architecture Frontiers. He has been an invited lecturer, speaker, and guest professor around the world, including for over five years at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has been invited keynote speaker at conferences worldwide, including numerous times at the IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) World Congress and ASLA annual conferences. His writing and lectures have addressed a range of topics including ‘The Beautiful Big Foot’, ‘Landscape as Ecological Infrastructure’, ‘The Art of Survival’, and ‘Deep Form in Urban Nature’. Yu served the Master Jury for the Aga Kahn Architecture Award in 2010, and its Steering Committee in 2015-2016, and the Super Jury for 2011 World Architecture Festival, and many other international award juries. He is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and was elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. In 2017 he recovered the Doctor Honoris Causa in Landscape and Environment from the Sapienza University of Rome.

My father, who is a hardworking farmer does not know how to read and write, but made living and fed the family by working with any inch of the land available in a rural village in South East China when I was a kid..

Besides that, I am most inspired by landscape architects including Frederic Olmsted, Ian McHarg, Peter Walker, Michael Van Vulkenburgh, Richard Hag, etcetera.

The small vegetable garden in front of my house in the little rural village when I was a kid,  where I spend my time after school and grow plants of various kinds.


Qinhuangdao Red Ribbon

Against a background of natural terrain and vegetation, is a “red ribbon” spanning five hundred meters, which integrates the functions of lighting, seating, environmental interpretation, and orientation. While preserving as much of the natural river corridor as possible during the process of urbanization, this project demonstrates how a minimal design solution can achieve a dramatic improvement to the landscape.

Haikou Fengxiang Park

The landscape architect lead the implementation of nature-based solutions to transforming the gray concrete river into a resilient green infrastructure and integrating the sewage treatment process into an ecological system that revives the river with clean water, rich lives, lush beauty, and social vitalities. 

Quzhou Luming Park

On a site surrounded by dense new urban development, the landscape architect created a dynamic urban park by incorporating the agricultural strategy of crop rotation and a low maintenance meadow. 

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