If there is one thing that we have to put above all other issues for the 21st century, that is probably the vulnerability of nature. Ancient Chinese philosophy had always centered on the harmony between people and nature. In the decades to come, and amidst all the looming environmental crisis, it is urgent to bring the ancient philosophy back to the core of our education, and put it in the context of new challenges ahead. With this in mind, we’ve designed a new kind of school system that provides a balanced and joyful learning environment integrated with farms and gardens.
Third Award | RTFA 2014 Awards
Category: Institutional Built
Participant Name: Open Architecture
Conventional teaching spaces like classrooms and laboratories are organized within a tree-like structure which provides eco-friendly and efficiently connected spaces. Advantage of passive solar and natural ventilation/lighting is maximized with this semi-organic shaped infrastructure. While the “new” teaching spaces – more creative and larger social spaces are integrated within the park on the ground. Their architecture gives the form to the organic park and garden spaces, while connecting with the conventional teaching spaces above.
Different types of public spaces are the key to re-establish important social relationships that are often lacking in adolescents growing up in the internet age, be it among the students, or between students and teachers. In the new school, classrooms are extended to the exterior, the gardens, while the playground is brought into the interior and climate proof spaces. Together with a dominant circulation and social spine, pockets of public spaces formed by sprouts like cantilevers off the building volume help to create a web of social spaces. These are the places for people to meet and interact casually. They function like organic fluid holding together the various types of spaces of learning.
It is our hope that the physical environment of the new school will inspire and foster healthier environment of learning and to better prepare our kids for the future challenges.