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Shanghai Qingpu Pinghe International School / OPEN Architecture

Shanghai Qingpu Pinghe International School / OPEN Architecture

aerial view. Image © Hao Chenkindergarten playground. Image © Qingshan Wusym canteen south facade. Image © Hao Chencampus garden. Image © Qingshan Wu+ 46

  • Design Team:Qing Ye, Qingjun Tan, Bingjie Shi, Xiaoyang Liu, Mengxing Cao, Daijiro Nakayama, Di Lu, Mengmeng Wang, Hao Zhang, Tingting Zhou, Jingran Lin, Ling Yang, Mai Li, Bihong Lin, Xiuyuan Chen, Tianming Zhu, Xiaodan Zhou, Ning Ye, Junchen Guo, Mian Qin, Xunfeng Liu, Lingna Li
  • Client:Shanghai Tixue Education and Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Local Design Institute:Shanghai Yuangou Design and Consultants Co. Ltd., CABR Technology Co. Ltd.
  • Interior Consultant:Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Environment Design Institute Co. Ltd
  • Landscape Design:OPEN Architecture
  • Curtain Wall Design:CABR Technology Co. Ltd.
  • Theatre Acoustic Consultant:Shanghai Net Culture Development Co. Ltd.
  • Interior Design:OPEN Architecture
  • City:Shanghai
  • Country:China
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campus wetland. Image © Qingshan Wu
campus wetland. Image © Qingshan Wu

Text description provided by the architects. The new school campus in Shanghai features an organic constellation of 13 unique buildings, redefining what modern educational institutions should look like. When OPEN was given a brief of a new school for 2000 students aged from 3 to 15, the immediate reaction was how to avoid the dreariness of kids spending fifteen years fixed in one place.

aerial view. Image © Hao Chen
aerial view. Image © Hao Chen
site plan
site plan

Inspired by the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child”, the architects decided to break away from the prevailing model of school as a megastructure. Instead, the original program was deconstructed and regrouped into many smaller and distinctive buildings, together with the landscape in between, they form a diverse and vibrant village-like educational campus. The design of the Qingpu Pinghe International School campus, an organic constellation of unique smaller buildings linked by thoughtfully designed landscape elements, is a direct response to the widespread prevalence of over-scaled, generic school complexes in China.

campus aerial view. Image © Qingshan Wu
campus aerial view. Image © Qingshan Wu
campus garden. Image © Qingshan Wu
campus garden. Image © Qingshan Wu

Among the school’s diverse building types including learning cubes, an administration and laboratory building, a helical student dormitory, and a freeform kindergarten are 3 core elements that respectively represent reading, sports, and art, the essential components of contemporary education: Bibliotheater, Gym Canteen, and the Arts Center.

campus learning cubes and landscape in between. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
campus learning cubes and landscape in between. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
campus running trail. Image © Qingshan Wu
campus running trail. Image © Qingshan Wu

On the urban scale, the architect and the client share the view that future schools should be places for social interactions. In this school, the large public programs such as the library, the theater, the pool, and the gym are designed to be accessible to the public when the school is not in session, in the effort of making more efficient use of public resources and contributing to the community at large.

helical dormitory. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
helical dormitory. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
helical dormitory entrance. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
helical dormitory entrance. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
helical dormitory lobby. Image © Qingshan Wu
helical dormitory lobby. Image © Qingshan Wu

The "Bibliotheater." The “Bibliotheater” is strategically located to serve both the school and the community. A library, a theater, and a black box interlock together like a Chinese puzzle to form this characteristic building that some call ‘the blue whale’ while others see it as an ocean liner. The juxtaposition of library and theater came from our belief that reading and performing are two critically important components of early education.

bibliotheater south side. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
bibliotheater south side. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
bibliotheater terraced reading space. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
bibliotheater terraced reading space. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud

The Gym Canteen. Gym Canteen is made up of two round-cornered white boxes gym and swimming pool, floating above the ground floor’s transparent glass box canteen. A vertical glass atrium displays the active movements in the building.

sym canteen south facade. Image © Hao Chen
sym canteen south facade. Image © Hao Chen
gym canteen and swimming pool. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
gym canteen and swimming pool. Image © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
swimming pool. Image © Hao Chen
swimming pool. Image © Hao Chen

The Arts Center. Centrally located on the campus, Arts Center resembles a precise cut black diamond, appearing different from varying angles. Visual arts are stacked on top of performing arts programs, each has a double-height atrium that penetrates through the building volume and brings in abundant lights. The two atriums crisscross and interconnect to form the central public area which double functions as exhibition galleries.

art center night view. Image © Hao Chen
art center night view. Image © Hao Chen
art center atrium. Image © Qingshan Wu
art center atrium. Image © Qingshan Wu
art center stairs. Image © Qingshan Wu
art center stairs. Image © Qingshan Wu

Learnings Cubes and Admin Lab Building. Teaching classrooms are accommodated in clusters of cubical buildings cladded with bamboo boards. The primary school cubes have curved perimeter walls, while the middle school cubes have folded ones. The white prefab-concrete building with capsule-shaped openings at the main entry is the Admin-Lab building.

campus running trail. Image © Qingshan Wu
campus running trail. Image © Qingshan Wu

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Project location

Address:Shanghai, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Shanghai Qingpu Pinghe International School / OPEN Architecture" 08 Jun 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/962982/shanghai-qingpu-pinghe-international-school-open-architecture> ISSN 0719-8884
campus sportsfield. Image © Qingshan Wu

上海青浦平和双语学校 / OPEN建筑事务所

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