Background This is a low-cost regeneration and expansion project of the old campus. Due to the shortage of land, the school needs to build a new junior high school building on the original campus playground to meet the 1,500-degree gaps. The new school building will inevitably bring huge pressure to the original campus environment. There are not enough outdoor activity spaces for teachers and students in the school, and the average outdoor activity space per student is less than 5 square meters. Strategy to the city Facing the city, the two borders of the campus adopt different avoidance strategies: forward platforms to give way to the sunlight impact of the high-rise residential buildings on the south side, and reverse platforms to avoid the noise impact of the main road on the west side of the campus. Embracing the old campus Facing the old campus, the new campus did not continue the traditional fishbone layout of teaching blocks; instead, it used empty space and adopted a large enclosure layout to form an embrace between the old and the new, thus creating an open, three-dimensional, and flowing campus space. Flowing platforms The setting of the large flat layer maximizes the requirements of the school’s future flexibility. It can be set according to one grade for each level, or it can be set flexibly according to the class switch system. The classroom units are like pebbles, placed on a large and flowing platform. Three-dimensional playgrounds The continuous wide outdoor platform encourages children to get out of the classroom more during the break, free to run, play, communicate, and even do exercises. The total area of the three-story sky platform with a depth of 9m is equivalent to that of two 300-meter playgrounds, adding valuable outdoor activity space to the crowded campus. Canopy for sunshade and rain Each grade has its own playground between classes. The horizontal and continuous green plants on the platform are connected to the city and also increase the green vision of the campus. Each platform has a 3-meter cantilever, which provides a shading of continuous space for students in Shenzhen's subtropical climate. Unnamed spaces There are many flexible transition spaces between the classroom modules, which have become students’ favorite unnamed spaces, sometimes as small galleries, sometimes as game corners, and sometimes just for kids to avoid the teacher’s vision. It brings unlimited imagination to the children, and also leaves every child with their own memories. A big yard full of lights There are three vertical light holes surrounding the large courtyard, deep underground to provide natural sunlight and ventilation for the library, gymnasium and activity room, and at the same time alleviate the impact of large-scale buildings on the campus environment. In the evening, caves become bright and play with light and shadow, making the campus a small and warm town to inspiring more campus public events.
Based in Shenzhen of China, Yunchao Xu/Atelier Apeiron is an international team of creative architects and designers. We use the ancient word APEIRON as our design philosophy and methodology, which leads us to the endless thinking, research and practice towards the origin of architecture. We take each project as an adventure on social operation rules, a re-link to the nature, and a reveal to the human life.
Our approach is not limited to traditional space, but to the behavioral psychology behind the geometry. Human being is the measure of everything. We are interested in the oldest prototypes from anthropology. We also believe architecture is not only an evolution of changing environments and functions, but a primitive form compounded by various desires. In the past seven years, our works have spread all over China, and many of them are in high-density cities, bringing exciting changes to urban lives.