architecture firm yca bridges eastern and western cultures in the olive tree school in china
 

architecture firm yca bridges eastern and western cultures in the olive tree school in china

architecture firm yca designed the olive tree school in hangzhou, china. according to the school’s founder, dayuan, the ideal school buildings should have conversations between western and eastern cultures, and inherit the spirit from both the old and the new. the founder wanted to embody the eastern-western curriculum the school offered and materialize it in the architecture. 

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

main entrance

 

 

the founder and the architects decided to split the site in half: one side for the school and the other for the sports programs. the overall structure of the school is compact, responding to its surroundings: the high-speed train line, the highway entrance on the south and the main urban boulevard on the west. all the art spaces are located on the ground floor; public spaces such as roof gardens, vegetable gardens and the science museum are on the top floor; classrooms and offices are located on the floors in between. on the sports side of the site, the track is oriented east-west. 

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high school courtyard

 

 

the name ‘olive tree’ represents the global vision, ‘shuibaxian’ (eight types of aquatic plants) which reflects chinese feelings and the connection to nature. to highlight this connection to nature, the architects designed a series of ‘layered courtyards’ from one school section to the next. the primary school has two layers of courtyards; the middle school courtyard has white walls with light wooden railings and roof structure; the high school courtyard has three planted olive trees from the mediterranean. there is a pool of water in between the middle school and high school containing eight types of aquatic plants native to jiangnan, a connection to the olive tree concept.

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arch and brick facade

 

 

the architects incorporated global architectural elements into the school’s design. they included a courtyard, which is a basic spatial area common in ancient and modern cultures, in china and abroad. they also included a pitched roof on some of the buildings, an architectural typology present throughout the world. in chinese tradition, building entrances are on the eave side, whereas the western world’s tradition is to enter from the gable wall side. yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

main entrance

 

 

another important form found in western classical architecture is the arch. in the school, the arch is one of the main entrances towards the courtyard. the buildings are clad in red brick, a common practice in western architecture, while the white wall is widely used in classical architecture in the jiangnan area. the architects designed a bridge that goes over the river located on the east side of the site. the bridge also symbolizes the connection the school makes between both chinese and western curriculums.

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classroom building

 

 

combining art, technology and architecture, the designers abstracted a chinese painting and incorporated it into the buildings. the famous chinese painting, dwelling in the fuchun mountains, served as inspiration for the perforated pattern of the red brick wall in the east facade, and also for the color composition pattern in the dormitory’s west facade. this technology integration teaches the students to become multidisciplinary thinkers. 

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

entrance

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

main axis through buildings

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

main entrance

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

south facade

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

primary school staircase

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

primary school staircase

yca-olive-tree-school-hangzhou-china-04-25-19-designboom

dormitory facade

 

 

project info:

 

project name: hangzhou olive tree school affiliated to beijing foreign studies university

architecture firm: yca contact e-mail: [email protected]

lead architects: yanchuan liu, xiaowei tong, jianlong ma, yuan gong, yumuling zhou, zizhuang zheng, jie yang, yali ma, chenxiao duan

project location: hangzhou, china

completion year: 2017

gross built area: 75950m2

photo credits: he chen

computational design: yuanchen wei, zirong zhao, lichun wang

project management: lihua ren

construction drawing design: zhejiang zhongshe

engineering design landscape: creative landscape design

interior design: hanjia design group

manufacturers: dragon rise group

supervision: unihigh construction management

client: hangzhou olive tree school

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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