The Only Layout
高安路第一小学华展校区位于上海市徐汇区龙吴路和华展东路交叉口，是一座40班规模的新建小学。用地紧凑，容积率达1.4。 在这块东西狭长的场地上， 200米田径场只适合放在西部，也正好可以阻隔龙吴路干道的交通噪声，再结合退界、消防、日照和噪音间距等技术规范，主要教学用房只能在东部布置为前后两排体量，综合楼则位居操场和教学区之间，容纳多功能厅、风雨操场、体育馆等活动空间。
Huazhan campus of Gaoan Road No. 1 Primary School is located at the intersection of Longwu Road and East Huazhan Road in Xuhui District, Shanghai. With a compact site, this 40-class school was built under a high FAR of 1.4. On this long and narrow site, the only suitable location for the 200-meter track and field is on the west side, which also helps to block traffic noise from Longwu Road. According to building codes regarding setback, fire protection, sunshine and noise control, the main classroom building can only be arranged in two rows on the east side. The multi-function building is then located between the playground and the academic area, accommodating the multifunction hall, covered sports field, gymnasium and other activity spaces.
▼远景鸟瞰，distanced aerial view ©苏圣亮
The superposition of area index, site limitations, and building codes solidifies the layout, leaving little room for changes. The compact site reduced the area for playgrounds and green venues, which would make daily educational activities more confined to standardized classrooms, while corridors and stairs only meeting circulation demands – these realities concerned architects about the rigidity of the campus. Therefore, how to create a lively educational space in this “only layout” became the most difficult yet meaningful challenge in this project.
▼鸟瞰图，aerial view ©苏圣亮
▼沿河立面，facade along the river ©苏圣亮
▼沿街立面，facade along the street ©苏圣亮
Enclosure and Transparency
▼设计概念，design concept ©山水秀建筑事务所
In the compact layout, the combination of four and five-story massing could easily form an enclosed block. It is necessary to improve the overall spatial quality of the campus through partial openings. We divided the block into four parts and set up passages and staircases between them, so that teachers and students can see the scenery of different spaces inside and outside the campus when they pass by. To avoid the separation between the playground and the central courtyard caused by the multi-function building, we lifted the gymnasium to the third floor, and lowered the small theater to semi-underground level and placed green slopes and grandstands on periphery, which reduced the impact of the large scale of multi-function building and formed a covered sports field on the second floor. This semi-outdoor space is connected to the gymnasium atrium vertically, and connected to the playground and the central courtyard horizontally. The narrow and long central courtyard will create a sense of constriction, so we added airy bridges to strengthen the connection between the north and the south and to change the proportions of the courtyard, bringing a spatial hierarchy to this wooded green space. Through these design strategies of transparency, we established a layered connection between the central courtyard and the surrounding space and the external environment, and expanded the spatial perception of the campus.
▼庭院鸟瞰，aerial view of the courtyard ©苏圣亮
▼通透的连桥加强南北之间的联系，airy bridges enhance the connection between the south and the north ©苏圣亮
Prefabricated Structure and Spatial Order
▼面向操场的立面，底部采用倒梯形的剪力墙，facade facing the playground, inverted trapezoidal shear wall at the bottom ©苏圣亮
The gymnasium and the covered sports field in the multi-function building are both large-span spaces. In order to meet the prefabrication rate and reduce the structural height, the main structure adopts a steel frame system supported by shear wall on the second level to achieve an open floor. The inverted trapezoidal shear wall is retracted at the bottom to help open the view of grandstand and highlight the suspension of the upper building.
▼分解轴测图，exploded axonometric ©山水秀建筑事务所
The changing “aperture” openings on the shear walls dissolve the dullness of the structure and imput a fun of eye contact. Since Gaoan Road No. 1 Primary School is Yao Ming’s alma mater. The client pays much attention to the indoor gymnasium on the third floor. Instead of using usual truss or network frame structure, we used braces on the upper part of the steel column to assist the 800mm high steel beam to complete 23-meter span. The triangular area formed by braces is further used to create a semi-transparent space for ventilation and natural lighting, injecting spiritual brilliance into this gymnasium with exposed structural bones.
▼风雨操场，covered sports field ©苏圣亮
▼综合楼剪力墙洞口，openings on the shear wall at the multifunction hall ©苏圣亮
▼裸露结构的体育馆，gymnasium with exposed structural bones ©苏圣亮
为控制整体造价，教学楼和办公楼的混凝土框架结构采用了预制和现浇结合的方式。与普通的预制体系相比，我们进行了三处新的尝试。一是用悬挑支撑南侧单排教室的外廊，以获得走廊空间与庭院之间的自由界面，其导致的单跨问题通过在进深跨中增加剪力片墙予以解决；二是通过采用预制钢筋混凝土槽型板，取消了次梁和大部分吊顶，电管线和大堂的喷淋支管都得以在槽型板中行走，使7.5m x 9m的教室单元获得了最大的净高和空间的完整性；三是在进深方向放大了预制钢筋混凝土梁柱的结合部，在改善梁柱交接点配筋和现浇条件的同时，用半拱形的放大柱头形成了塑造空间秩序的基本骨架，拱门框架的结构要素在校门、大堂、走廊、教室、小木屋、图书馆和体育馆中不断再现，成为空间赋形的母题。
In order to control the overall cost, the concrete frame structure of the classroom building and office building adopts a combination of prefabricated and cast-in-place reinforced concrete structures. Compared with ordinary prefabricated systems, we have made three new attempts. One is to use a cantilever to support the outer corridor of the single-row classroom building to obtain a free interface between the corridor and the courtyard. The collateral single-span issue was solved by a shear wall in between the span; the second is to eliminate the secondary beams and ceilings by using prefabricated profiled reinforced concrete composite slabs. The electrical pipelines and the sprinkler branch pipes can all be lied along the grooves of the slabs, so that the 7.5mx 9m classroom unit gains the largest clearance and integrality of space. The third is to enlarge the joints of prefabricated reinforced concrete beams and columns, which improves the reinforcement and cast-in-place conditions of the junctions. The enlarged semi-arch column heads form the basic framework of form order. The structural element of the arch frames is constantly reproduced in school gates, lobbies, corridors, classrooms, cabins, libraries and gymnasiums, becoming the motif of spatial shaping.
▼自由的空间界面，free interface between the corridor and the courtyard ©苏圣亮
▼悬挑的走廊，cantilevered corridor ©苏圣亮
▼走廊结构，structure of the corridor ©苏圣亮
Through careful articulation of the structural system and prefabricated units, we have obtained a concise, regular and hierarchical spatial order. It not only satisfied the normative requirements of various teaching spaces, but also increased the flexibility of the unit space, where we can inject more spirituality into this primary school.
▼走廊中丰富的活动空间，various activity space in the corridor ©苏圣亮
Activation through Body & Mind
When communicating with the potential school users, we deeply felt their needs for diversification and differentiation of teaching and communication spaces, which coincides with our vision of exploring the spirit of educational space in the project. In order to encourage diversified educational methods and social ecology, we start from the structural order and use architectural methods to activate the formation of these two customs, and explore new types of space to provide more spatial support for quality education.
▼公共空间，public space ©苏圣亮
In the classroom unit, a beam-column frame connected by a semi-arched column head emphasizes the directionality of the classroom, providing a “frame” for the teacher and the intelligent blackboard, helping students to develop the habit of focusing on the front. Together with the structural system, the integrative ceiling without sub-beam, the symmetrical window sashes on both sides, and the aligned air conditioners at the front and rear doors all help to give the space a stable order and bring even and warm light to the classroom.
In the limited building area, the unique experience and diversification of the circulation space can help us to activate the solidified order, which can be seen at the rope stair in multi-function building, the color distinction of the stair with deformation joint, and the three-dimensional courtyard composed by zigzag corridors between the north and south buildings. In the corridor, the semi-arched cantilever structure leaves free space on the facade. We wove a translucent wall outside the corridor with steel keel, metal mesh and glulam, which accommodates protective nets and fire hydrants and integrates stools and reading panels. Together with the schoolbag cabinets and benches inside the corridor, they become fixed furniture in the corridor space. By naturally and unconsciously activating children’s and teacher’s behaviors, the space encourages users to touch the nature in the courtyard and to use the furniture to rest, read, talk and play, which gives more connotations to the corridors.
▼绳索楼梯，rope stair ©苏圣亮
▼色彩区分的变形缝楼梯，stair with deformation joint in distinct colors ©苏圣亮
We also placed various multi-functional semi-outdoor “cabins” on each classroom floor. Equipped with drinking fountains, operating tables and smart bookshelves, these “cabins” not only provides a nearby play area for the break between classes, but can also work as semi-outdoor classrooms and gathering spaces. This new type of space is neither a fixed classroom nor a circulation space, but more like a semi-outdoor courtyard implanted in the building, adding diversified educational and social possibilities to the campus, and awaits further planning and exertion in the future.
▼未来实验室，future laboratory ©苏圣亮
Enlightenment of Order
The education system, planned land use, and building codes together form the social order of school buildings. Through in-depth interpretation, we try to transform these restrictive orders into the ontological power of architecture, so as to imput more physical and mental care, dedicated spirit, and vitality of communication into this campus. We hope that with the joint efforts of all parties, the campus to remain in the memories of students would not only be the concentration in the classroom and the neat queue on the playground, but also the moving sunlight in the gymnasium, the free speech in the cabins, and the moment of picking up a book in the corridor and facing the woods.
▼夜景，night view ©苏圣亮
▼总平面图，site plan ©山水秀建筑事务所
▼一层平面图，first floor plan ©山水秀建筑事务所
▼二层平面图，second floor plan ©山水秀建筑事务所
▼三层平面图，third floor plan ©山水秀建筑事务所
设计单位：山水秀建筑事务所 Scenic Architecture Office
Office Name: Scenic Architecture Office
Design Team: ZHU Xiaofeng, LI Qitong, ZHOU Yan, ZHANG Xuan, ZHANG Guohao, HU Xianmei, XU Linfeng, HE Ran, HUANG Chunlin
Location: No.169 East Huazhan Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Program: primary school
LDI: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
Client: Shanghai Xuhui District Education Bureau/ Shanghai Xuhui Urban Renewal Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd
Site area: 17,645 m²
General Contract: Shanghai Xufang Construction Industry Co., Ltd.
Construction Supervisor: Shanghai Shangzi Construction Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd
GFA: 30,406 m²
Structure System: classroom buildings and office buildings: precast concrete frame structure; multi-purpose building: steel frame structure supported by concrete shear wall
Main Materials: white perforated aluminum panel, texture paint, grey, colored, and wooden textural aluminum panel, white, grey, and colored perforated aluminum panel, wood grain cement fiber board, low-iron laminated thermal Low-E glass , translucent and colored glass blocks , dark grey and wooden textural aluminum profile, aluminum rectangular tube ceiling, white expandable aluminum ceiling, light gray terrazzo floor tiles, wood grain floor tiles, wooden textural flat steel railing, solid wood and wooden textural aluminum handrail, sesame grey granite slate, stainless steel mesh curtain, outdoor cross-laminated timber seat and reading board
Photographer: SU Shengliang
Text: ZHU Xiaofeng