▼顶视图，top view ©吴清山
Paul Mok and Qiu Jiayu (邱佳羽) first visited the old Erdu Primary School in 2015. It was a deteriorating prefabricated structure that was built in the 70s. Years of rigorous rural-urban migration have led to a significant reduction of students in the area. As a regional primary school, Erdu served a growing number of villages from where kids commute via school buses to Erdu. Yet the number of students per class fell far short of 48 which is the standard class size in China.
The local and provincial education bureaus, together with the school’s headmaster, discussed small-class-teaching as possibly a more suitable teaching model for primary schools in rural and suburban villages. Mok and Qiu provided design consultation along the way. After months of conversations and feasibility studies, it was decided that Erdu Primary will be rebuilt in a new location, and it shall be built as a prototype for small-class teaching in rural villages.
▼项目远景，distanced view of the project ©吴清山
▼建筑沿街外观，view of the building from the street ©吴清山
One major advantage of small-class-teaching is the increase in the teacher-student ratio. More resources will be allocated to each student. This is something the architectural design shall enhance.
首先，我们突破传统的大办公室和教室分列的传统布局，采用了2个教室与1个“卫星”办公室组团的安排。因此，教师和学生的“接触面”增加了，并带来三点变化：1.客观上增加师生互动，每个学生得到更多关注，进而强化小班化教学优势；2. 教学活动在时间、空间上会得到重组，教学不只是发生在40分钟之内的教室座位上；3. “卫星”办公室分布在学校各处，这客观上需要建筑内部交通便利，以方便任课老师达到任何教室。
First, we challenged the traditional school layout in which all teachers share one general teacher-office. We paired 2 classrooms with 1 small, “satellite” teacher-office to form the primary module for the architectural layout. The immediate adjacency between classrooms and teacher-offices has at least three benefits: 1. It encourages teacher-student interactions. Each student will receive more attention from the teachers. 2. The curriculum could be re-arranged in terms of both time and space. Teaching can take place outside of the classrooms, and outside of the 40-minute timeframe of the class. 3. As the general teacher-office was broken down into various small satellite offices and redistributed around the 2 major buildings, it encouraged the development of a dynamic, continuous circulation system throughout the school.
▼整体鸟瞰，overall aerial view ©吴清山
▼操场边的室外走廊，outdoor corridor beside the playground ©吴清山
▼从走廊看向操场，view to the playground from the corridor ©吴清山
▼建筑之间的庭院，courtyard between the building volumes ©吴清山
▼丰富的底层室外空间，various outdoor spaces on the ground floor ©吴清山
▼交错的楼梯，interlaced staircases ©吴清山
▼通向二层走廊，way to the second floor corridor ©吴清山
We further proposed to reduce classroom sizes from 48 students per class to 24, and designated the remaining floor areas to semi-outdoor shared spaces that include widened corridors and “pocket spaces”. These pocket spaces act as punch-holes in the massing of the buildings, facilitating natural ventilation. The combination of corridors and pocket spaces forms one continuous, dynamic circulation system throughout the campus. This design feature allows children to have semi-outdoor activities even during the prolonged monsoon season.
▼宽敞的走廊在上层形成丰富的室外活动空间，spacious corridors creating various activity spaces on the upper floor ©吴清山
▼走廊公共空间，public space on the corridor ©吴清山
▼阶梯教室，stepped class room ©吴清山
Erdu Primary School was open in the fall of 2020. We hope to see more pioneering architectural projects in rural China soon.
▼夜景，night view ©吴清山
▼一层平面图，first floor plan
▼北侧建筑二层平面图，second floor plan of the north building
▼南侧建筑二层平面图，second floor plan of the south building
▼一层餐厅平面图，Canteen plan on the first floor
▼二层体育馆平面图，Gym plan on the second floor
Project name: 二都小学 Erdu Primary School
Company name: 古风建筑GFArchitecture, Paul Mok, 浙江工业大学工程设计集团AZUT
Website: gf-architecture.com, paul-mok.com
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Project location: 浙江德清下渚湖二都村
Completion Year: 2020
Building area (m²): 8000
方案团队 SD-DD phase team： 邱佳羽Qiu Jiayu，莫哲昕 Paul Mok
浙工大团队 CD phase team: 设计总负责Lead Architect：季怡群 Ji Yiqun
建筑设计CD Team：雷准会 Lei Zhunhui 孙悦 Sun Yue 黄子倩 Huang Ziqian
结构设计 Structural Engineering：金成 Jin Cheng 蒋文峰 Jiang Wen Feng
给排水电气暖通设计 MEP Engineering：吴梁 Wu Liang 方歆霞 Fang Xinxia单巨维 Shan Juwei魏炜 Wei Wei
Photo credits: 吴清山 Wu Qingshan