Yiwu Foreign Languages School, designed by the LYCS Architecture, is now in use and has just completed its first semester.It is located in the main urban area of Yiwu, Zhejiang Province,with 48 classes of elementary schools and 24 classes of junior high schools. As the first project of returned overseas Chinese, it’s also one of the typical practices of teaching space design issues Comfort scale in high density urban that have been continuously researched by LYCS Architecture.
▼校园教学楼外观，exterior view of the school building
The design is aimed to create a joyful campus to bring back a sense of intimacy and inspire children’s curiosity, rather than a uniform and solemn general school. Starting with a child’s perspective, the design introduces the “moving”, “communal” and “social” teaching environment to stimulate children’s desire for study and creativity.it’s also a comfortable campus integrated with the international outlook and Yiwu-rooted culture.
▼主入口视角，main entrance view
▼教学楼和宿舍楼西南人视，southwest view of school and dormitory
A. M. 8：00丨Go to School
高密度环境下的舒适尺度|Comfort Campus in High Density Urban
The site is a rectangle rotated at 45-degree angle. Compared with other normal school of similar scale, the site space is very limited, with high plot ratio of 1.4 instead of 0.8 of others. Campus architecture planning in such a high-density environment is a space game and a math problem: the layout of the plan finally meets a plot of the floor area ratio. Solving this “mathematical problem” while meeting the scale of the campus’s intimate comfort has become the core issue of planning.
▼首层平面图，ground floor plan
The design addresses this issue with a series of design process. Each teaching units and spatial module are derived from analyzing about function and volume. Then, the teaching units are organized in a rational and efficient layout, each specially adapted to meet the requirement of the sunlight and ventilation. Ultimately, the program is generated into two parts. Public space is stretched over the ground floor to stimulate more campus activities. While classrooms, dormitories, playground and other volumes are built on the second floor and above to ensure sufficient sunlight and ventilation. Therefore, the planning strategy not only compact numerous homogeneous space to save more for public, but also fits in the diplomatic concept of educational system.
▼公共教学用房以及校园公共空间铺开布置在首层；教学楼、宿舍和风雨操场等建筑体量布置在二层及以上，public space is stretched over the ground floor; classrooms, dormitories, playground and other volumes are built on the second floor and above
A.M. 10：00丨Class & Break
本土根基与国际视野的有机融合|Organic Integration of Local Roots and International Vision
As the world’s largest wholesale market of commodities, Yiwu is praised as the largest market by the United Nations and the World Bank. In such a city with both local and international perspectives, how architectural space meet the need for new teaching space type combined the international education system and traditional culture.
▼轴测图首层局部特写，ground floor axonometric drawing
On the ground floor, there are laboratories and public classrooms, including other functional spaces including reading rooms, the concert hall, art lounge, dance rooms, art rooms, calligraphy rooms, the experts communication center, the school history room and gallery. These diverse spaces are bonded organically, and centered with courtyards to form thematic courtyards themed with “ knowledge”, “science”, “culture” and “art”.At the same time, the design creates an integral environment, from the perspective of spacial structure, artifact and nature. And the “immersed” teaching space experience is achieved by blurring the boundary of architecture, interior and landscape.
▼教学空间以院落为中心集中布置，形成知识之院、科技之院、人文之院、艺术之院等主题空间，those diverse spaces of teaching area are bonded organically, and centered with courtyards to form thematic courtyards themed with “ knowledge”, “science”, “culture” and “art”
A.M. 12：00丨Lunch Time
The international academic exchange center includes offices, training space and a small amount of dining room, with the height of 45 meters. The playground can serve as two standard basketball courts to enrich the sport activities. The design combines the teaching space required for internationalization and localization.
▼风雨操场室内空间，interior space of the playground
▼临近风雨操场的餐饮空间，canteen near the playground
In addition, we created a second level of activity space between classroom and ground activity space, allowing students to play for a 10 minutes break.The building blocks of the school and the dormitory are hollowed out to form a semi-open activity space, which adds one dimension to the two-dimensional architectural element. On the surface, the original physical space is reduced by a part. In fact, the hollowed out part becomes a space for students to have extracurricular activities and contact with nature, which increases the richness of the overall space. Instead, it achieved the effect of 100-1=101.Moreover, all event spaces are designed to be bright yellow, enhancing campus recognition and belonging while promoting student communication.
▼教学楼活动空间-设计在教室与地面集中活动场地之间创造了中间层级的活动场地，让课间短暂的时间也能让学生充分玩耍，school activity space-designers created a second level of activity space between classroom and ground activity space, allowing students to play for a 10 minutes break
P.M. 4：30丨Outdoor Sports
以小胜大的社区式校园|Miniature City Campus from Small-scale
Teachers recognize and advocate that education is not limited to classroom space. They think that walkways, playgrounds, etc. can be used as learning spaces, and can even be extended to streets, lanes, yards, squares, parks, etc. in cities. Let the children learn and grow by integrating into the community. In the gradual formation of the overall experience and personal consciousness, the individual can come into contact with social life. This is an important lesson to learn outside the classroom. The architectural form of the ground floor draws references from Jiangnan watertown buildings with the pitched roof. The spatial units are organized to create a comfortable-scale campus, among which are inserted with “streets”, “lanes”, “courtyards” and “pocket parks” to intensify the sense of community. Such interesting and friendly spaces, small but elegant and cosy, are interconnected to give the children an open, quiet and comfortable ambience, seeking to trigger their interaction and communication.
▼首层“巷弄”活动空间，ground floor ‘lanes’
▼“口袋公园”活动空间，school ‘pocket parks’
▼“街角公园”活动空间，school ‘corner parks’
P.M. 6：00丨 放学
P.M. 6：00丨 Out of School
追寻面向未来的传统空间体验|Pursue Traditional Space Experience for Creation
The pitched roofs of the podiums are clad with grey tiles, one of the most common traditional Chinese building materials. Once looking out from the upper buildings, it could be obviously seen that the tiles not only function as heat preservation and water resistance for the roof, but also bring about a trace of elegance and tranquility to the entire campus. The height difference between northeastern end and southwestern end of the campus is about three-four meters. The folding roof descends to the ground to subtly combine with the topography, in the place with the most apparent height difference. People could directly wander on the roof of the podiums and perceive the trace and appeal of time passing, which is brought about by layering tiles.
▼校园首层裙房的折面屋顶铺满了小青瓦，屋顶的折面巧妙的结合了地形，the pitched roofs of the podiums are clad with grey tiles, the folding roof descends to the ground to subtly combine with the topography
▼瓦片不仅起到建筑屋面保温防水的作用，还为整个校园带来了一份优雅和淡然，it could be obviously seen that the tiles not only function as heat preservation and water resistance for the roof, but also bring about a trace of elegance and tranquility to the entire campus
A subtle visual relationship is generated between the upper buildings and podiums. Upper buildings are seemed as the “lighthouses” floating on the “sea of tiles”, forming clear spatial orientation for the campus. The courtyards are echoing the form of upper buildings, which are correlated closely with each other. Therefore, in the journal of walking in the courtyards, people could feel strongly the existence of the upper buildings. Moreover, geometric and visual tension penetrate through the upper and lower space, despite their different levels of scale.
▼上层建筑像是漂浮在“瓦海”上“指航灯”，upper buildings are seemed as the “lighthouses” floating on the “sea of tiles”
A lively new experiential education scenario is sketched out by the design concept, the form and spatial definition. As the medium of realization, the design enriches educational experience and bring more possibilities for the teachers and students. It’s a project with huge challenges. How to define the architectural form of educational building in the high-density urban environment. How architectural space meet the need for new teaching space type combined the international education system and traditional culture. How to create a traditional space experience for the future. All of these issues are common questions in the process of rapid urbanization in China, and what LYCS have been focusing in the field of high-density city and education.
Project name: Yiwu Foreign Languages School
Location: Yiwu, China
Size: 85,481 sqm
Design Firm: LYCS Architecture(Architecture, Interior and landscape Design)
Project Team: RUAN Hao, CHEN Wenbin, NIE Yueliang, CHEN Qi
Participants: WU Shiyang, JIANG Leilei, WU Tao, CHEN Zhilin, CAI Zeyu, XU Jun, YANG Ge, XI Shuying, ZHOU Jin
Project Period: Design + Construction 2016-2018
Photographer: WU Qingshan