Expansion of Chinese International School

North Point
Ronald Lu & Partners

Working within the limits of the challenging triangular site of The Chinese International School (CIS), RLP designed a new 11-storey building to house two indoor multi-purpose sports centres with a capacity of 600 to 700 students in total, two storeys of laboratories, one storey of design studios, two storeys of administrative offices and a number of classrooms.

One core design concept for the new extension was to create transparent event spaces, where events could be joined (viewed) from different levels through windows and voids, generating and enhancing spontaneous, collaborative learning.

Above the sports halls, a naturally ventilated atrium connects the existing campus to three storeys of laboratories and design studios that are “wrapped” by two storeys of teachers’ offices and protected by a triangular skylight. A “glass lantern” is explicitly situated in the heart of the atrium, creating a climactic space which encourages visual communication between students inside and outside the rooms.

RLP incorporated a large number of glass walls into the design, taking advantage of the breath-taking natural scenery surrounding the school. Their transparency invites nature into the interior, echoing the traditional Chinese architectural theory of “borrowing the scenery” through picture windows. This concept also resonates with CIS’s mission of upholding traditional values while embracing modernity.

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