Text description provided by the architects. Situated in a tranquil environment of one of the best vocational schools in Beijing, the project aims at providing an iconic image to the institution as well as redefining the use of an existing public space on the central square of the campus.
Initially, the client wanted to put on the square a themed sculpture with a monumental effect and scale. A huge pedestal was even already built for the sculpture to put on. However the obvious problem of the school is actually a severe lack of effective public space that would allow students to gather and communicate. What the school really needs is not a monument in the center of the campus, but a humanistic and functional gathering space for students and an event space for school activities.
Therefore, with the intention to create an efficient public space, we proposed a continuous self-folding belt structure that resembles the image of a “roller coaster”. The structure folds three-dimensionally to create a series of spaces such as open gardens, shaded pavilions and exhibition corridors. The entire belt bends around and in-between the existing trees on the site so they are well-preserved and maximally utilized for shading.
The rollercoaster-like structure presents a highly recognizable identity to the school as well as a fun image that was widely welcomed by the students.