Mulan Primary School

Huaiji County
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Photo © Rural Urban Framework
Drawing © Rural Urban Framework
Drawing © Rural Urban Framework
Architecten
Rural Urban Framework
Jaar
2012

The Mulan Primary school is located close to Huaiji, a town of approximately 100,000 in Guangdong Province. Working with the local education authority and a Hong Kong based charity we were asked to expand an existing primary school of 5 classrooms by adding an additional building of 6 classrooms. The motivation behind this expansion is through the education authority’s desire to consolidate the total number of primary schools. In the process some older schools will be demolished and others enlarged to make up for the loss and also to provide for a larger sphere of population distribution. The existing school is a simple tiled roof block with an overhanging eave supported on columns. The building forms part of an edge of a wall which frames a courtyard. The strategy of the design was to not only extend the school but to also extend the courtyard and organize the site through a series of linked open spaces.

The new building defines the edge of the site as a U-section with one side of the courtyard left open. The roof plane is a continuous ribbon that rises from the ground as a series of steps forming a new public space and outdoor classroom that then becomes roof, before dropping down again to form a ground plane that defines the edge of the courtyard. The steps are punctuated with small micro-courtyards which continue into the library which has its own internal courtyard. The roof is clad in old, recycled tiles collected from numerous villages in the local area as old buildings are replaced with new concrete and tiled houses. At three moments the roof tiles become vertical walls which direct water off the roof into the ground. This perforated screen walI will encourage climbing plants cooling the air in the hot summer months. In contrast to this rough-tile, smooth, mirror-tiles are deployed on the courtyard façade and on the vertical faces of the steps. This creates visual mirages and distorted reflections that are animated as the children play in the courtyard and on the steps during break time. As the village evolves and grows it is hoped that through the provision of this open public space and library that the school can become a community focal point and open to all.

LOCATION:

Huaiji County, Guangdong Province, China

DESIGN:

John Lin and Joshua Bolchover, Rural Urban Framework (RUF)

CONTACT:

[email protected]

[email protected]

www.rufwork.org

COMMISSIONING DONOR:

Power of Love Ltd

ADDITIONAL DONORS:

Luke Him Sau Charitable Trust

CREDITS:

Design: John Lin and Joshua Bolchover

Rural Urban Framework is a not-for-profit design agency based at the Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong.

Project manager: Maggie K Y Ma

Project team: Yau Ching Kit, Kwan Kwok Ying, Huang Zhiyun, Jessica Lumley, Ho King Hei

IMAGE CREDITS:

Rural Urban Framework (RUF)

PROJECT DETAILS:

Completion Date: Sep 2012

Size: 503 m2

Total Cost: 90,200 USD

Unit Cost: 179 USD/sqm

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