School Bridge / Xiaodong Li

© Li Xiaodong

Architect: Li Xiaodong/atelier
Location: Pinghe, Fujian,
Project Area: 240 sqm
Budget: RMB650,000
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Li Xiaodong

The Bridge, the School, the Playground, the Stage

school plan

Located at a remote village, Fujian Province in China, the project does not only provides a physical function – a school + a bridge, but also presents a spiritual centre. The main concept of the design is to enliven an old community (the village) and to sustain a traditional culture (the castles and lifestyle) through a contemporary language which does not compete with the traditional, but presents and communicates with the traditional with respect.

© Li Xiaodong

It is done by combining few different functions into one space – a bridge which connects two old castles cross the creek, a school which also symbolically connects past, current with future, a playground (for the kids) and the stage (for the villagers).

Cite: "School Bridge / Xiaodong Li" 05 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 Aug 2014. <>


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      So the poor can’t have access to good design, materials, and facilities? This structure and its program will no doubt add great value to the community.

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        Solution could be simple and cheap with great value rather than complicated and expensive like this.

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    beautiful use of materials. it compliments perfectly with the environment.

    true though, design could maybe a bit more kid-safe?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Small projects like this will always be more important than projects like the Burj Khalifa.
    Whether or not the bridge is “too expensive” or not, it’s obvious that care was taken to design for the needs of the people, with respect to the site and context, and with use of beautiful tactile materials.

    It certainly doesn’t seem like a object of prestige, power and money, designed to capture every superlative known to architecture. This is more of a humanist building, for a specific group of children, and actually looks like it is contributing to their development and understanding of path and shelter.

    Thank god that people are still building simply.

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      Good thinking rypat, I actually whanted to say the same thing, but you said what was need. And design and architecture can’t be find just in phalic things. Live Freud to rest in peace. And Loch I’m thinking that you are just jelous, because you can’t make good design fot this one!

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        hehe.RGoldschmidt,I just told you a truth, please open your mind ,don’t be afraid of facing it.God lives in the details.We are making comments not doing design competition.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the castle,Tulou, is more and more used as a place for tourism,which provied such project more reason.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Loch, please do not upset me now. Ok and you are right here, do u design could be simpler and cheaper, but I am tired of comments like: oh my God what rendering good or bad, always searching for that girl in rendering, or what about this car . We came to ask me, unless I come not to see the forest because the trees. And if I have offended, frankly, I’m so sorry and I hope to not be angry with me still!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    we should care more about the student.maybe it’s better to buy more books&pens or desk etc

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    Li xiaodong collects funds for his projects himself
    He doesn’t build for clients
    He felt the need to bridge to communities on the opposite sides so he proposed the project
    So it doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or not

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