landscape of discovery | Magazine for Architects

project description

Haiyang Road Middle School was designed to stimulate learning through the integration of nature. Designed as a landscape of discovery, the campus provides students with an immersive and ever-changing natural environment that stimulates creative thinking. Students learn in a way that goes beyond what can be done at a desk. Learning in nature offers opportunities to understand the world through direct observation and experience.

The school is designed as a continuous landscape that ensures students are always in touch with nature. Curving walkways that wind around rolling hills and across courtyards to connect students and teachers to a wide variety of learning spaces. Students can access all levels of the school through this landscape. The classrooms on each floor are also directly adjacent to green areas. This makes it convenient for teachers to use both indoor and outdoor spaces for teaching.

The integration of the natural landscape ensures that students are connected to the ecological world. They are better able to understand their dependence on the environment and their role as stewards. The landscaping is designed for diversity. A variety of plants are selected from different locations in Sichuan to ensure biodiversity and expose students to different ecologies. Seasonal changes and local species inhabiting the school increase students’ awareness of natural systems.

The school also makes a significant contribution to the surrounding community. The design allows the school to be turned into an open public park during school holidays. Large facilities such as the gym, library and multipurpose hall are placed in places that allow for convenient opening up to the local community. Public seating and covered rest areas take the place of the perimeter wall that normally surrounds a school. And the large landscape area counteracts the heat island effect that occurs in cities and contributes to the overall comfort of the surrounding urban area.

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