Shenzhen Fuqiang Elementary School / People’s Architecture Office
Fuqiang elementary school is designed by People’s Architecture Office to support new ways of learning to feed Shenzhen’s growing thirst for creative talent and innovation to feed its rapidly expanding economy.
To inspire curiosity and passion for exploring the school is designed around the idea of ‘hybrid space’. Space takes on the role of the ‘third teacher and functions as an integral part of student education. Different programs and activities are juxtaposed together in three dimensions to offer new connections across different levels. For example standard classrooms, special classrooms, and the athletic field are adjacent to one another to support cross-disciplinary interaction. Students in the library on the first floor can look down into performances in the theater and activities in the gym on the basement level.
A diverse offering of spaces allows students and teachers the flexibility to customize the experience of teaching and learning for students of different ages and interests. Rooftop gardens, medium size courtyards, and small terraces are different outdoor learning spaces that can allow for different size gatherings and meet different learning needs. Wide circulation areas and steps that double as seating are informal spaces that can accommodate different activities and programs. Small seating areas are also integrated into the facade to offer students intimate space when they require a moment of quiet. By occupying the facade, different learning activities of students also become the face of the school.
The design helps students learn by providing opportunities to connect with the real world, bridging between study and real-life experience. Indoor and outdoor spaces flow into one another and are both treated as learning spaces. This allows students to stay in touch with the outdoors. Greenery is integrated into the campus and distributed horizontally and vertically throughout the school to ensure students stay close to nature and learn from it.
Creative learning that is physical, experience-based, and performative is celebrated and located in elevated glass classrooms. Activities such as performing music, making art, and dance can be easily seen and appreciated from other locations on campus. Facing a major road to the north, these cantilevering spaces also project the creative character of the school towards the city. The new campus doubles the size of the original campus and makes high-quality education and innovative learning accessible to more students. The design brings together the old school buildings, a dedicated STEAM education building, and new classrooms and facilities into an integrated whole. Fuqiang School’s excellent educational heritage remains as the campus is upgraded to meet the demands of the next generation.
- Construction unit: Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co., Ltd
- Principals: He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng
- Project leader: Li Zhenghua
- Project team: Tang Yanni, Xu Jialing, Kong Ming, Gao Pengfei, Zhang Xian, Zhu Zhonghui, Cai Yuhan, Zhang Chi, Yang Yuting, Wang Yibo, Tan Tan, Gu Naiquan, Xia Xin, Liu Ruochen, Li Qiuwan
- Co-designer: Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co., Ltd
- Project leader: Wang Xiangyun
- Project team: Huang Jinlong (Architecture), Zhang Daquan (Structure), Hao Qidong (Water Supply & Drainage), Zhang Jin (Strong Current), Wei Houwen (Weak Current), Lin Wensheng (HVAC)
- Site area: 11, 190 sqm
- Building area: 28,528 sqm