TAO configures introverted school in china to celebrate creativity and interaction
 

TAO configures introverted school in china to celebrate creativity and interaction

this school in hainan, china’s island province, accommodates a broad range of classrooms, an on site dormitory, and a dining hall for more than 1,200 students. designed by trace architecture office (TAO), ‘haikou huandao middle school’ seeks to create a nurturing environment that celebrates creativity and interaction rather than examination-oriented objectives.


image © schran images (also main image)

 

 

as the site is surrounded by high-rise residential buildings in haikou’s city center, TAO developed a somewhat introverted design. the playground is placed centrally, while the teaching block and dormitory building are located at the south and north sides of the site respectively. meanwhile, two courtyards within the teaching block are formed through a complex interplay of different volumes.


image © schran images

 

 

due to site constraints, the teaching block and the dormitory building are elevated on pilotis to open up the ground floor. the teaching block’s central courtyard is raised up to the second floor and is connected with the playground through a grand staircase that not only serves as a place for relaxation and communication, but also as a grandstand for spectators.


image © schran images

 

 

teaching classrooms face outwards and are distributed along the east and south part of the teaching block, while other learning spaces are more inward-facing and act as independent volumes. these spaces include art classrooms with curved roofs that ensure even and stable ambient lighting, while music and dance spaces are located beneath arched roofs that help to enhance acoustics.


image © schran images

 

 

the ways students can utilize the campus are not only confined to the use of traditional classrooms, but also the way they occupy undefined public areas. the design, described as a miniature city, seeks to create diversified and integrated spaces that promote active and spontaneous learning: the central courtyard acts as a cohesive area for outdoor group activities, while widened corridors form a series of interlaced semi-open balconies.


image © schran images

 

 

furthermore, a colorful tower-shaped space is placed at the eastern end of the central courtyard. the tower’s white and abstract façade dramatically contrasts its colorful interiors and lighting variations — all of which seek to embrace imagination and art.


image © schran images

 

 

structurally, due to the special seismic geological conditions in huandao, a seismic base isolation system has been adopted for earthquake resistance. the architecture also responds to the region’s tropical climate: stilt floors provide shading and protection against the wind and rain, while colonnades facilitate natural ventilation. finally, a rooftop platform provides additional activity spaces for students, while simultaneously reducing heat absorption and the indoor temperature.


image © schran images


image © schran images


image © schran images


image © schran images


image © hua li


image © schran images


image © schran images


image © schran images

 

 

project info:

 

title: huandao middle school, haikou, china
client: hainan huandao industrial development co. ltd.
location: haikou, hainan, china
program: classroom, multi-purpose rooms, office, student dormitory, dining hall, etc.
architect: hua li / TAO (trace architecture office)
design team: shen lijun, li ruoxing, yan yadong, zhang xiaoxiao, zhang feng, chen yuan, luca ronchi, guo cong, jin longqiang, tian tao, liang zhuojia, tan xiao, liu zhouxing, cao pengfei, qin mingxuan, sheng zhiqi, wei mingyu, liang guopei, yin qianqian, qu yue, zhang feng, xu yu, gao zhaojia
structural engineer: ma zhigang, sun kai, zhao xiaolei
MEP engineer: lv jianjun and kcalin design group MEP engineer: li wei, zhou yong, li xin, zhang anfeng
general contractor: gansu eighth construction group co., ltd.
site area: 14,108 sqm
floor area: 19,020 sqm
structural system: reinforced concrete frame structure
design: 2014-2016
construction: 2016-2018
photography: schran images, hua li

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