Wuzhou Primary School

Wuzhou Primary School

Architect
People's Architecture Office
Location
Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Primary Schools

Wuzhou Primary School

People's Architecture Office as Architects

Set in the dynamic context of Shenzhen, Wuzhou Primary School is designed for innovative learning. As the role of the industrial economy in Shenzhen declines so too is the ‘factory model’ of education. Instead, the city’s focus for learning is shifting towards fostering individual creativity, critical thinking, and open exploration. To support this change, Wuzhou Primary School is conceived as a three dimensional ‘Learning Landscape’. Based on Malaguzzi’s concept of ‘the environment as the third teacher,’ the school is a continuous field of diverse learning spaces, connected through blurred boundaries and tightly packed into a dense urban setting.

Inspired by natural landscapes, the Learning Landscape of Wuzhou Primary School is a terrain of differentiated spaces for exploration, imaginative play, and physical and sensorial engagement. A rich array of learning spaces allows for unique educational experiences to meet differing needs of students, as teaching becomes more student-centered. Varied spaces can be adapted to new educational approaches as curriculums inevitably change.

Exterior spaces are also designed for learning. Large openings, covered exterior spaces, and flexible furniture help breakdown the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces. Learning outside means students can engage in messy scientific experiments, study nature first-hand, and not be limited by their desk.

The school is organized around three main ‘landscape’ features: the Mountain located in the north courtyard, the Beach in the south courtyard, and the central Valley connecting the two courtyards. These are defined in form but are undefined in use. The Mountain and Beach can host gatherings on different scales while their sloped terrain encourages play-based learning.  The high semi-outdoor Valley area provides a stage for performances, flexible space for hands-on learning activities, and ample area for exhibiting creative student work. There are also many semi-private nooks scattered throughout the school for quiet study.

To foster cross-disciplinary education, interstitial spaces between different programs and circulation areas are expanded for informal learning spaces without specific functions. These spaces are flexible, support ad hoc activities, groups and individual learning.

Vegetation, integrated throughout the school and on its roof, helps with cooling in Shenzhen’s tropical climate, filters pollution, and dampens noise from the busy streets. Students will also study and nurture these plants. From an urban scale, the school is an extension of the large park directly to the north. The school’s raised floors and lower elevation creates buoyancy-driven natural ventilation through the building towards the park. In addition, the cooling effect of the school’s natural greenery helps mitigate the urban heat island effect of surrounding commercial development.

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm
24 Jun 2022 News
Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm

An iconic 19th-century building next to Amsterdam Central Station, Droogbak has been transformed int... More

Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials
24 Jun 2022 News
Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials

House VD-B by Graux & Baeyens architecten is a renovated hacienda-style villa in Evergem, Belgiu... More

Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)
22 Jun 2022 News
Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)

In the heart of the historic city of Bruges, The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC) is a... More

Award-winning New Museum of Ethnography by NAPUR Architect opens in Budapest
22 Jun 2022 News
Award-winning New Museum of Ethnography by NAPUR Architect opens in Budapest

Designed by NAPUR Architect, the recently opened New Museum of Ethnography in Budapest is a purpose-... More

New Royal College of Art campus by Herzog & de Meuron unveiled in Battersea
22 Jun 2022 News
New Royal College of Art campus by Herzog & de Meuron unveiled in Battersea

The Royal College of Art unveiled its new campus in Battersea, London this past month.  With a... More

TAO’s Qingyijiang Road Elementary School explores a decentralized school system design that embraces equality, non-hierarchy, freedom, and diversity
21 Jun 2022 News
TAO’s Qingyijiang Road Elementary School explores a decentralized school system design that embraces equality, non-hierarchy, freedom, and diversity

The Qingyijiang Road Elementary School by TAO (Trace Architecture Office) explores a decentralized s... More

House of Concrete Experiments by Samira Rathod Design Associates explores concrete in all its aspects
21 Jun 2022 News
House of Concrete Experiments by Samira Rathod Design Associates explores concrete in all its aspects

Located in the coastal town of Alibaug, near Mumbai, the House of Concrete Experiments by Samira Rat... More

Promodo Hub & Office by Bude Architects offers a transformable platform for the exchange of ideas
18 Jun 2022 News
Promodo Hub & Office by Bude Architects offers a transformable platform for the exchange of ideas

Situated in an actively developing IT district of Kharkiv, Promodo Hub & Office by Bude Architec... More