Play area - front view
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Play area - peninsula
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Play area - peninsula
Photo © Rao Gang
Playarea - peninsula
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Seating niche
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Classroom and adjacent playarea
Photo © Xuan Li
View from playarea into classroom
Photo © Wang Lei
Classroom
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Classroom with connection to mezzanine level
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Connection to mezzanine level
Photo © Xuan Li
Classroom with viewing box from upper floor
Photo © Yang Chaoying
Viewing box into classroom
Photo © Mini Liu
2nd floor reading area
Photo © Mini Liu
Multifunctional room
Photo © Xuan Li
a corner for friends
Photo © Mini Liu
in the peninsula
Photo © Mini Liu
in the peninsula
Photo © Mini Liu
exterior
Photo © Hao Hongyi
roof terraces
Photo © Hao Hongyi
outside playground
Photo © Wang Lei
view from street
Photo © Hao Hongyi

ETU School

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Ano
2018
Custo
Undisclosed
Pisos
1-5 Stories
Cliente
ETU school
Equipa
Binke Lenhardt, DONG Hao, Cynthia Cui, Ewan Xiao, WANG Xudong

In just five months, Crossboundaries transformed a small, gray, three-story industrial building into an innovative primary school using spatial interventions to encourage exploration, play, and independent thinking.

Crossboundaries removed the double-loaded office layout, made the necessary structural reinforcements and implemented an entirely new spatial pattern. By arranging special rooms like dance studios on the more intimate edge of the building, the classrooms could be placed on the side with available natural light, and allow for the introduction of new, experiential, multifunctional blocks in between. Integrated social and event spaces throughout allow education to thrive even beyond the classroom and in every corner of the campus.

Color is an important guide throughout – both metaphorically and practically. The school colors, yellow and blue, highlight the multifunctional blocks against layers of green classrooms. And green forms the connective tissue of the campus, forming a three-dimensional lap around the school to tie together the ground floor sports fields with the roof terraces of the original building. With a total length of around one kilometer, the runway supports running, climbing, playing, relaxing, and gathering for small performances and events.

The interior design of the space represents the unique vision of the ETU School – that by providing for the individual health and happiness of teachers and students, the direct interaction between them becomes richer. The multifunctional blocks in the middle of each floor organize impromptu events and can combine with other spaces, like the dance studio, to create podium-like viewing areas. Internally, they create intimate areas and reading nooks for quiet reading and rest.

The activity of the multifunctional blocks permeates into the classrooms, with small windows and special staircases enabling visual connections and interactions between student and teacher before, during, and after class. These visual connections support children’s natural curiosity to explore, and the spatial diversity of the school encourages them to engage their education.

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