Chaoyang Future School

  • area / size 278,957 sqft
  • Completed 2017
  • Location Beijing, China,
  • Crossboundaries designed the Chaoyang Future School as a re-imagination of an existing school building in Beijing, China.

    Chaoyang Future School, in Beijing, is a 26,000m² renovation of an existing educational campus built in the 1980s and completely reassesses the landscape, façade and interior. It uses color to negotiate from the urban scale to the human, and multifunctionality to assist both guided and passive learning.

    With a new face and its circulation reconfigured, the red Art Center becomes the heart of the campus. The contrasting bright yellow running track is a path that ties together the existing with the lives of the new inhabitants – old and new, inside and out. This path rejects former conventions of separating functions and activities, achieving a new efficiency by more than doubling the length of a track in its default location. By marrying sport and exercise with diverse activities and academic subjects, it emphasizes crossover and collaboration at every scale. Even at the very edge of campus, a boundary fence becomes a space: a living interaction with the city beyond to serve both utility and play.

    In the Learning Center, the existing classroom lined corridors at times become lined with glass and other times opened completely. New visual connections promote previously impossible user interactions. Subject-specific ‘islands’ develop several functioning zones out of a singular open space on each floor. Vertical ‘bridges’ connect two floors with multifunctional activity spaces between related subjects on adjacent floors. Each intervention works to dissolve the spatial boundaries of the buildings’ rigid structure and uniformity, producing collaborative learning spaces bolstered by user-defined furniture.

    The collaborative renovation brings to life every element of the program. From each traditional learning space, across the landscape and administration, into the apartments and the canteen that delivers more than food, the design optimizes spaces and endorses a campus life that facilitates continuous learning around every corner. Each building holds its own unique identity while maintaining a common mission. Each space employs color for identity and orientation, user-defined furniture and inspiring signage to encourage its creative use.

    Architect: Crossboundaries
    Contractor: China Building Technique Group
    Photography: Yang Chaoying, Wang Ziling