Hangzhou Olive Tree School from freemexy's blog

Text description provided by the architects. Dayuan, the founder of the school, was once one of the best middle school linguistics teachers, later he became a businessman due to peculiar encounters. However, there is always a dream about education in his heart. For the olive tree in his dreams, he finally set off after many years of preparation.international school in hangzhou

After several discussions and inevitable collisions of ideas, the architects determined the overall layout:
The buildings and the sports areas take one half of the site each. Although the east-west oriented track and the dormitories are not common, the overall structure is compact, well responding to the high-speed train line, the highway entrance on the south and the main urban boulevard on the west.
All the art and experience spaces are located on the ground floor; Public spaces such as roof gardens, vegetable gardens, science museum are on the top floor; Classrooms and offices are located on the floors in-between.

The ideal school buildings in Dayuan’s mind should have conversations between western and eastern cultures, and inherit the spirit from both the old times and new days. Below are the architects’ considerations and responses:

Courtyard is a basic spatial element that is common in all kinds of cultures in ancient and modern China and abroad.
Pitched roof is a basic form in the culture at all times and in all over the world.Chinese tradition is to enter the building from the eave side; whereas the western world from the gable wall.

Arch is an important element of Western classical architecture; to place buildings along the south-north axis and form a layered courtyard is a common method for classical Chinese architecture.The red brick façade is a common practice in Western architecture; whilethe white wall is widely used in classical architecture in the Jiangnan area.

The primary school has two layers of courtyards with the theme of nature; three olive trees from the Mediterranean are planted in the high school courtyard with red brick walls on four sides; white walls with light wooden colored railing and roof structure are used in middle school courtyard; there is a pool of water in between middle school and high school, with eight types of aquatic plants native to Jiangnan. Olive tree represents Global vision, “Shuibaxian” (eight types of aquatic plants) reflects Chinese feeing and native sentiment.

There is a river in the east of the site, so a bridge that meets the functions is needed. The international school curriculum attends to both Chinese and Western cultures. A symbolic meaning of ‘connection’ is applied to a functional bridge located on the east side entrance. The complex shape of the continuous integration of the slab of the entrance arch bridge and roof allows the digital design and fabrication to take their advantages.

The perforated pattern of the red brick wall in east façade and the color composition pattern of the west façade of the dormitory source from the same part of the famous Chinese painting, Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains. Byintegrating digital technology, there is no difficulty to abstract the artistic masterpiece into architectural decorative elements.

The core value of this design is to involve the process and method of architectural design in the basic education process, so as to let the kids who study in the school have the opportunity to learn and experience the different form transition, by combining art and technology.

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