Sited in Luohu District, Shenzhen, Dongchang Primary School was in dire need of renovation, facing a shortage of education resources. From the perspective of architecture, the façade of the original building was worn out, outside air conditioner units were scattered and the whole building lacked transparency and active interaction with the city; and from a user perspective, students suffered narrow classrooms and activity spaces, especially the insufficient number of outdoor and physical activity spaces.
As those children are like raw clay to be molded, a good environment can change their behaviors and exert positive influence on them. And a good environment is supposed to be a multi-dimensional, funny, challenging and intelligent event space that is worthwhile exploring. Therefore, the design team made innovation moderately on a pragmatic basis to renovate the old teaching building, ensuring the modern appearance and integrity. Extension and renovation give the building a fresh look.
Thus, designers used two methods to rebuild and extend the old teaching building and its surroundings. Outdoor stairs at the entrance are processed in a safer way, extending to the hallway outside the classrooms. The security room and badminton court are relocated with new walls. Furthermore, taking advantage of the terrain, more non-motor parking places are added, and the underground level and ground level are interconnected through a vertical system, making school embrace the city well. The architecture is lifted to leave more space for students to learn, communicate and grow well and some physical activity places are set in the upper space.
The vertical interactive design well solves the severe shortage of land and tallies with the idea of multi-dimensional development of city in the future. Students can interact at the same dimension yet in different levels and spaces. Moreover, openness, inclusiveness, personality and exploration can motivate students to behave better. Therefore, the design team used the vertical interactive design in many areas to satisfy the spirit of exploration and discovery.
The main entrance of the teaching building is an interesting space. It is lowered half in order to make greater use of the vertical space. Apart from that, the design also optimizes sense of experience that the upper and the lower echo with each other, allowing the functions of each floor to integrate, and introduces the outdoor environment into the interior, creating a more dramatic and safer entrance area.
The designers expanded the underground space of the original playground. Due to the limited site area of Dongchang Primary School, the large-scale activity space for students was restricted so that the design team developed an underground space for large sports activities with one transparent side and created a pleasant sunken square based on the terrain. And since the school is near the streets, the space outside the school became crowded when parents waited for children, so that part of the sunken space is used as waiting space while doubling as stands to watch games in a closer distance.
The new teaching building appears a floating giant box, which is not only the highlight of the school but also of the city. It functions as a joint that connects the old and the new and a pivot that supports the whole vertical system. The covered court on the second floor integrates with the first floor. And the third floor is lifted to link the front and the back sides. All in all, the design aims to provide children with a challenging education space with the spirit of exploration.
The staff quarters are the smart and highly integrated product. Due to the shortage of dormitories for teachers, the designers customized the new houses in the factory in modern method and put them on the original roof of the teaching building. The 40-square-meter house has two storeys, one for students and another for teachers. Wooden houses are combined in different way to function as a courtyard in limited areas. The design team hoped to create a model that meets the need of housing in the future for Shenzhen, even for other cities in China. Since those houses are highly integrated and use clean energy, it’s significant to protect the environment.
Founded in 2008, HYP-ARCH DESIGN holds a Class-A Certificate of Qualification for Architectural Engineering Design and also is a member of Shanghai BIM Technological Innovation Alliance, which has been awarded “New High-tech Enterprise” indentified by Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission and “Pudong New Area Enterprise R&D Center”. We have assembled more than 600 professional architectural designers and we provide integrated design services for architectural and interior designs in fields ranging from residential real estate, commercial real estate, cultural travel development and urban renewal, etc. As a leading enterprise in the industry, HYP-ARCH DESIGN has served as a senior consultant, providing technology and advisory services of architectural design for China’s large developers.