Zigzag

Tianjin
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Photo © Misae Hiromatsu
Architects
SAKO Architects
Location
Tianjin
Year
2012
Client
Client: Sino-Ocean Group Holding Limited
Team
Principal Architect: Keiichiro Sako
Architectural Design
SAKO Architects
Interior Design
SAKO Architects

The elementary school consists of eight volumes that house the regular and special classrooms. These volumes are divided into four levels and arranged in a zigzag pattern. To connect the classrooms across the corridors, twelve bridges are suspended at various angles between the facing volumes. Each volume and each floor has a different color, creating 32 distinct places with diverse combinations. This adds variety and identity to the school architecture, like the 32 team colors.

The spaces between the volumes are covered with a single large roof, forming a large communal area with a five-story atrium that is semi-indoor. The atrium is well adapted to the local climate, which varies from over 40 degrees Celsius in summer to below -15 degrees Celsius in winter. The atrium has a long and narrow shape, but the zigzag arrangement of the volumes creates a sense of centrality and unity.

During recess, children move through the atrium in groups, filling the space with their lively voices.

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