LocationHuiyang Distric, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province,China
Project DirectorQiao Zhong
Lead ArchitectsJohn Siu, Xin Huang
Design TeamJunda Li, Hanlu Zhong, Yuhua Wu, Yu Qu, Huanhuan Zhu, Taiming Cao, Zhuangwei Li
Interior DesignPerkins Eastman
Construction Drawing DesignInstitute of Architectural Design, Shenzhen University
Landscape DesignAlain landscape Studio & Associates
“Waking up with bird chirping and the smell of grass, I stop being impetuous and work harder.” A mother retold what her boarding daughter said, which could concisely generalize experience of such mountain campus.
Basis International School Park Lane Harbour is a boarding school with capacity of accommodating 1200 students. The construction area is 43,000 m² and the campus covers an area of 70,000 m². Campus site has been chosen in a mountain forest on the seaside of Park Lane Harbour. The site is densely vegetated with 58 meters height difference from lowest elevation of 24 meters to highest elevation of 82 meters.
Benefiting from the natural environment, it is essentially different from schools in cities. In the beginning of the design concept, the architect tried to create a campus that blend in with the nature, offering students an experience of leaning inside the forest. Teachers and students can embrace the natural breeze and read in the morning with the smell of fresh grass.
Spirit of site: three platforms
There are mountains on the seashore. The mountains are high and forests are dense.
With a height difference of 58 meters in the site, the architect partially modified three platforms, and tried to maintain the original natural state of the remaining untouched areas. The three platforms are: the main pedestrian entrance and the front square, the main stairs square and the sports field on the summit. There are a variety of traffic connections between different elevations, convenient for teachers and students to travel at school.
As main pedestrian entrance of the campus, the front square is connected flatly with the road. The natural valley landform is the first impression for entering the campus. The sight goes up through the hillside park with rich valley layers, and finally stays at the circular observation restaurant overhanging at half way of the hill. Students can choose to ascend along the open valley park, gather in the overhead stairs near the teaching section, or reach the teaching section and main stairs square through vertical transportation in the reception hall.
Main stairs square in the middle of the mountain is the main area of daily activities for students. The entrance of dormitory, main teaching rooms and indoor gymnasium are all positioned near that elevation. Multi-elevation links are set up by making full use of the terrain of the site, reducing the need to climb up and down. The design of the site uses the characteristics of elevation difference and surrounding buildings to become a stairs square with a wide range of functions. It is a popular outdoor activity place for teachers and students, and it is also the main venue for festivals and ceremonies.
In view of the special needs of international schools, the outdoor sports field is only used as a place for teachers and students to exercise after school but not the main place for physical education classes, also due to the special mountain terrain, the outdoor sports field is located at the gentle part of the summit. It has quite an elevation difference with the main activities area of teachers and students, and can be reached by climbing stone steps or winding mountain roads for logistics. Such unconventional settings resulting it has what is impossible for a regular school playground to have: surrounded by mountains and forests with sea and mountains all in sight.
Planning Concept: Compact Group,decentralized Layout
Gather and disperse, moderate construction
Basis International School is composed of teaching group (including 360 degree observation restaurant, indoor gymnasium), dormitory group and sports field on the summit. Because of the special mountainous terrain, the teaching groups are enclosed with slab construction, relatively centralized and equipped with overhead corridors to meet the needs of class-selection system of the American style education. The height of the artificial retaining wall between the building and the mountain area should be controlled within 10 meters to save the cost of soil preparation and ensure the natural lighting and ventilation inside building.
The dormitory groups adopt the dispersed points style layout for the towers, and minimize the damage of construction to the mountain areas by using suspended tower. The dormitory group is close to the entrance for cars and the parking space for the school bus enhance the convenient for the weekly commuting and baggage handling of boarding students.
Teach and learn anytime anywhere; Given to emptiness, nothing is everything.
International educational institution BASIS is responsible for the operation of the whole school and adopts purely American education system. The architectural design adopts an open, individualized and diversified way to create space accordingly to design a complex space to meet the demands of international education.
Architects believe that the change of guiding ideology of education will bring the change of teaching methods, and the change of teaching methods will inevitably put forward new requirements of teaching space that conform with the change. They think that the elements of campus design can be roughly divided into basic teaching environment (emphasizing internal relations) and interpersonal communication environment (emphasizing outdoor activities and interpersonal communication). These two basically constitute the campus indoor and outdoor environment of the campus. International schools adopt a class-selection teaching model, and students do not have a fixed classroom. Each classroom is set up individually according to grade and course category. Teachers teach and work in each classroom. Students change classes according to the schedule. Metal lockers are set outside for students to temporarily store their personal belongings when they change classes.
In terms of functional layout, we divide the main teaching places into G1-4 (day-school students) and G5-12 (boarding students). The G1-4 classroom is near the main pedestrian entrance of the school. It is mainly located on the 1-3 floor of the teaching building. It is convenient for students to reach from the main entrance. Classroom G5-12 is mainly located near the main stairs square of the campus, which has similar elevation with the dormitory. The classrooms of the same category of students are relatively centralized, convenient for travelling from class to class.
Architects specially designed many indoor or semi-indoor open areas for staying in different elevations of the campus. The purpose of designing blank space for sitting and lying down is to enable the most creative users to explore its potential, so that teachers are not confined to the classroom and can teach anywhere anytime.While students are not limited their school life at classroom, canteen and dormitory. They can find their favorite corner in the campus, a corner belonging to him, her and them. Simple traffic space is expanded and enriched by architects by various ways. Because of the addition of traffic functions to the open space, we do not need to worry it will become a passive space that nobody goes to.
The introduction of natural light and ventilation guarantees the greatest comfort of the space. The learning space for teachers and students extends further to all places, instead of the three-point and one-line lifestyle of the conventional campus. Teachers and students can study and discuss in the corresponding corners of the campus with notebooks. Teaching is no longer only confined to the classroom, classroom and learning can extend to the entire campus. A variety of courses can be brought outside of the classroom according to the needs of teachers, under the blue sky, on the stairs, in the shade of trees...