Concluding the 2023 World Architecture Festival in Singapore is the announcement of the prestigious World Building of the Year award, which went to Huizhen High School by Approach Design Studio and Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group.
Designed as an "efficiency-first" campus in the Jianbei District of Huizhen, this boarding school was created to mimic a "floating forest." Descriptions of the project explain how classrooms are hung from various corners of the campus site where "scattered tree houses provide students with temporary escapes from the burden of school."
Ramps can be seen woven through the campus which lead students to an open-air lecture hall and rooftop park with sports facilities available to the children and open to the public on weekends. Di Ma, Director at Approach Design Studio/Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group explained, "We always try to explore the boundaries of architecture while making something that’s fun."
"Our focus was not just about designing a school, or working with new forms, spaces, materials and facades, but about designing new school life and bringing the power of nature into the building. The building gives students a space to relax and relieve their stresses between their lessons" Ma concluded.
World Architecture Festival Program Director Paul Finch lauded over the project stating, "The architects have managed to create a school which is very different to the usual model where students are boxed in and put under teaching and architectural pressure. By contrast, this design encourages, walking, fresh air and the possibility of reflection away from academic intensity"
Explore more project images and drawings below in our gallery.
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