Our design proposal takes the generation of alternative teaching spaces as a starting point by integrating education and physical health in a sustainable campus design that combines local building practices with European educational upbringing.
The dynamic form of the school is entirely shaped by a rigorously rational approach based on site’s constraints and optimal solar orientation. The trapezoidal area is lengthened on the East-West axis, therefore the soccer field that requires a North-South orientation could only be located in a limited portion within the red line. The location of the outdoor facilities gave us the idea of creating a unified sports area linked to the large indoor sports center. The sports center becomes the podium and the horizontal connective element for the whole first floor.
The three teaching blocks are separated according to their functions: special classes, teaching classes and administration offices. The height of the blocks decreases from north to south in order to allow a better sun exposure. The two blocks on the north are lifted from the ground, leaving the opportunity of wide semi-outdoor spaces that can be used for outdoor classes. Instead of puncturing a straight hallway to connect the buildings, we propose an active hallway that integrates public building functions with circulation in a loop that unites all of the cores in an efficient routing. Green roof terraces and wide balconies in front of the classrooms also give enough room for outdoor and semi-outdoor teaching.
The architectural design is shaped by the local climate conditions. Large slabs combined with hanging vegetation both provide sun shading and a shelter from the heavy rains. Semi-outdoor spaces enhance ventilation and decrease humidity. Green roofs and green terraces are used to drain the stormwater and to create outdoor playground areas. Outdoor courtyards are particularly green in order to help the well being of the pupils and make them more productive and vibrant in their daily lives.
The regular classrooms are all oriented to the south, and the special classrooms are distributed and clustered according to their required daylight. The running track is located in the north where classrooms cannot be constructed, with seating as a sound buffer from the adjacent major street. The indoor gym is located closest to the track in the north with a radio room that has an overview of the outdoor sports facilities. The entire ground floor is an open public podium, with the entry lobby, library, multifunctional hall, and cafeteria easily accessible.
Car entrance and parking are in the north, where kids can be dropped off by their parents. A separate entrance in the north is dedicated to teachers, staff and school bus drop-off. Here cars can continue down a ramp to basement parking underneath the classrooms. An additional entrance is located in the west near the bus station.
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China