LYCS Architecture has released designs for Hangzhou NO.2 School of Future Sci-Tech City, a kindergarten, primary and secondary school complex in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. Encompassing 44,900 square meters, the design takes inspiration from a child’s drawing of his ideal school – a small town filled with child-scaled spaces and “happy” streets. The complex is broken up into 15 gabled volumes, which gradually increase in size and scale to accommodate the range of student ages.
“Traditional primary and secondary school planning in modern Chinese cities usually provides students and children with an adult-scale campus environment at an excessively early stage. Such environment gives no help to them in coping with high educational and social pressure. Facing these phenomenon, it is the architects’ responsibility to subversively break these conventions in school planning and offer children with space of their own scale and age in which they will enjoy living and studying,” explains LYCS.
Dynamically shaped staircases and corridors are designed to provide both circulation and activity space, while gabled volumes contain common areas for a variety of gatherings and social activities. Envisioned as a “mini-society,” the school will enable students to “build their own social consciousness with daily experience.”
Program consists of 12 kindergarten classrooms and 27 primary and secondary school classrooms, organized into three U-shaped blocks distributed from south to north along a “main street.” The varying height of the rooflines create a dynamic skyline, while interstitial spaces between buildings offer playspace and courtyards of different paving and landscape surfaces. Building facades vary in color, material and openings to signify their use, helping children to easily identify their location and form a cognitive map of the campus.
The kindergarten building, an independent 4-story structure, is located near the main road of the city, and responds to its context with providing a “unified facade that coordinates with the overall urban interface.”
Rooftop activity space maximize the structure’s capabilities, and feature space for activities such as gardening, theatre and runway, as well as reading rooms and relaxation areas. Additionally, elevated corridors and public spaces have been intentionally enlarged to connect the 2nd floors of each of the buildings, creating an another plane for public activity.
According to LYCS, the variety and exuberance of the design will help children to bond and grow emotionally:
“Adhering to a special variation in scale, the design of this entire campus closely follows the growth and emotion of its users.The design notion of 'the story of a small town' will allow students and children to enjoy their own fairy tale like campus.”
Project TeamRUAN Hao, CHEN Wenbin, YIN Yong, WU Shiyang, XIA Wei
Architect of RecordZhejiang Province Institute of Architecture Design and Research