ZSZ Elementary School. Dalian, China.
I worked on the initial stages of this design during my internship at buildinglandscape architecture studio, Tokyo. I generated three concepts for the building which is currently under construction.
Big common floor
The common floor is in the middle of the building. The infant school, cafeteria and gym are on the floors below, while the rest of the school and staff rooms are on the floors above. The school is entered on the common floor and it hosts reception, exhibition space, and a library. Unlike the other floors, the ceilings are high and the walls are glass. It is level to the park on one side, so from the other you can see the trees through the building. The volume of the common floor is punctuated be smaller volumes; housing functions and creating incidental spaces.
A large staircase connects the common floor to the floor above and the floor below, on the park side. It is often too cold to go outside to play in Dalian. This big staircase acts as a sort of public square for the kids to sit, eat, play, talk and watch.
The playful checkered facade acts to break up this daunting seven story school building. School children can then identify their classroom from outside. It's a nice association with function and facade while offering shade and texture.
Concept diagrams and SketchUp study model by me, all other images are courtesy of buildinglandscape.