Yi Zhong De Sheng Secondary School | Foshan China | Gravity Green

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For the past 2 millenniums, China had been a civilization of aristocratic social structure, with education being influenced by such a philosophy that knowledge was being passed on to younger generations almost in one-way setting. In the era of economic boom and globalization, however, there has been a dramatic education revolution, in which students start to venture into the vast universe of knowledge, seek wisdom, and develop critical thinking. The campus design of this secondary school in southern China was greatly inspired by this movement, in which students are encouraged to interact with the landscape, and hence empowered to seek knowledge proactively.

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Located in the Foshan, China, this first-tier school has been in operation since 2001 catering for about 2,800 students. The campus consists of an array of multi-storey teaching blocks, forming a number of atrium spaces in between. These ordinary garden-styled courtyards were unattractive and hence were mostly underused. The 10th anniversary offered an opportunity to transform these uninteresting spaces into a vibrant learning environment, and revitalize the school as a whole.

 

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Design Concept

The atrium courtyards were assigned to three academic subjects of science, geography and art, with each features a series of outdoor rooms and spaces for a definite topic. The overall design was informed by the concept of interactive and experimental learning, with knowledge interpreted into a variety of physical forms aim to initiate students’ desire to learn.

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Be it Sir Isaac Newton’s Gravity Garden, Kinetic Energy Mounds, Geo-map Courtyard, or Wind Farm, each of the outdoor classrooms are furnished with elaborately sculptured, color-rich and visually stimulating installations that would capture the curiosity of students, and trigger their desire to touch, to interact, to examine, to experience, and eventually, to learn fundamental knowledge such as Universal Law of Gravity, Law of energy Conservation, energy generation, demography, etc, in active and playful settings. But the underlying goal is to ripple students to enjoy participatory learning experience, and hence to take the initiative to learn to their daily life, and ultimately enhance their personal development. The courtyards are not only designed as outdoor classrooms for interactive learning, but also serve as places for students to make friends, to start conversation, to discuss, and hence to learn from each other and build up friendship.

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IMAGE CREDIT | Gravity Green

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