Zliten Al-Asmariya University for Islamic Sciences




Organization for Development of Administrative Centres




180,000 SQM





The Zliten campus is a new branch of Al Asmariya University, located in the oasis town and fishing port of the same name, 120 kilometers southeast of Tripoli. One of 27 university projects commissioned by the Libyan government, this new campus is situated on a relatively flat 82-hectare site approximately five kilometers from the Mediterranean coast. The team has designed a campus Master Plan and the Phase I development.

Unlike RMJM’s first planned Libyan university, designed for the harsh desert-like environment of Bani Walid, the Zliten site is in a developed area, receives more rainfall and has a substantial grove of palm trees that provide orientation and visual relief.

The preliminary design brief established a two-stage program and total build-out of more than 200,000 gross sqm. The Master Plan concept will address site circulation and access, scale, program distribution, campus and architectural character and sustainability.

The plan will identify academic and support buildings – a conference centre, student centre, administration, library, recreation, and residences –for a target student population of 4,600 students in seven Colleges. The initial construction phase will include facilities for 2,600 students in four Colleges that are focused on Arabic and Islamic Studies, Law and Islamic Canon Law, and Religious Studies. In addition to the academic facilities, the planning concepts also include a medina and an oasis. All reflect local design precedents, cultural or historic influences, and important site geography, biology and microclimatic characteristics.

Dubai Cityscape Awards, Special Award – Islamic Architecture Category, 2009
New Jersey American Institute of Architects Honor Award, Unbuilt Category, 2009