TAO’s Qingyijiang Road Elementary School explores a decentralized school system design that embraces equality, non-hierarchy, freedom, and diversity

TAO’s Qingyijiang Road Elementary School explores a decentralized school system design that embraces equality, non-hierarchy, freedom, and diversity

21 Jun 2022 News

The Qingyijiang Road Elementary School by TAO (Trace Architecture Office) explores a decentralized school system which can be described as embracing equality, non-hierarchy, freedom, and diversity.

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The school is located on a 90-mu site with buildings occupying around 30,000 square meters. The design takes a low-rise and high-density approach with the two-storey teaching block spread out horizontally. The block consists of the ‘platform’ (functional classrooms) on the first floor and the ‘huts’ (standard classrooms) on the second floor.

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54 classrooms are divided into six grade groups, each one with a courtyard at its centre for socializing and activities. The classrooms and courtyards are connected by communal corridors to form a uniform grid layout in the teaching block. With no clear centre or hierarchy to the space, students can freely move about and play.

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Further to this, corridors between the classrooms and the courtyard serve as a buffer space providing shading and protection against wind and rain. The semi-outdoor spaces also offer activity spaces for students in adverse weather conditions.

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Based on the age and learning styles of different grades, the architects designed six different roof types. The different roof designs capture natural light in different ways, resulting in a rich spatial experience that ranges from relaxing to serious, live to intense. The various roofs are rhythmically organized, with the overall appearance of the school taking on the appearance of a cluster of huts in a fairy tale.

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The steel structure system designed allowed for a prefabricated assembly which helps in ease and speed of construction. The roof is a titanium-zinc standing seam roofing system and the material for the ceiling is perforated gypsum boards for sound absorption.

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