Established in 1998, the Kolej Universiti Islam Malaysia (KUIM) is one of the public universities in Malaysia. Now better known as the Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) after its upgrading status as a full-fledged university by the Malaysian government, a permanent campus site has been identified for its future student population of approximately 10,000 people.
Located just off the North-South Highway in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, approximately 60 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur, the 121 hectares of campus site is based in the university-centric town of Bandar Baru Nilai, a growing township with many educational institutions and modern self-contain neighbourhood.
The proposed master plan of the campus was designed with a strong influence of the old Islamic world. References were made to the great Islamic civilisation of Alhambra in Spain in terms of landscaping design and its relations to the built form. This is evident by the application of courtyards in the master plan design that is flanked by a series of arcade spaces linked between the administrative building and Islamic centre complex. Together with fountains and light-reflecting pools, these design elements are believed to be a physical realisation of paradise in Islamic poetry.
The sprawling complex houses administrative, academic and residential buildings. Dictated by a very strong axis from the entry point, leads up to the core central area consists of administrative, library, hall and mosque buildings, the arrangement of the buildings was nonetheless not symmetrical and rigid. The elevated site terrain largely influenced the campus building layout and placement.