As contemporary Chinese society continues to modernize itself, the demand for quality education is on the rise. In Chinese primary schools, the definition of core competencies has gradually shifted from the popularization of basic learning skills to the cultivation of comprehensive learning skills. Commissioned by Shanghai Jinshan No. 2 Experimental Primary School, LINEWORKS team designed a new interior space for its South campus.
How do we overturn the uniformity of the traditional teaching space and make it more flexible and diverse, thereby promoting open learning through design? Can we create more situational teaching spaces to encourage students to engage in inquiry-based learning? How do we encourage the use of indoor public spaces, so that learning activities can take place anytime, anywhere? These are our design team’s primary concerns at the beginning of the design process. Through interior design, we aim to increase the interaction between spaces and users to inspire illuminating learning experiences.
After in-depth conversations and discussions, our design team discovered that the school was in urgent need of active, social-friendly, and personalized learning spaces. Despite the issues being addressed, some teachers expressed concerns over the new design. They fear that the new spaces and modes of instruction would be too unfamiliar for students and lead to learning resistance.
With deep understanding of the school’s needs and concerns, our team carefully devised the interior design of subject-based classrooms on each floor in the new building. The design team replaced the walls between some classrooms and public spaces with transparent folding sliding doors. Public spaces were transformed into informal teaching spaces, answering to the school’s demand for more social and personalized learning spaces.
In terms of color combinations, the design team were inspired by the colors of Jinshan–the spectrum of its urban space, natural landscape, and beautiful beach. These colors were boldly applied to the interior ceilings, walls and flooring. When designing the classroom observation windows, we chose child-friendly sailor windows and capsule shapes to encourage students to observe activities in the public teaching area outside the classroom. Wall decorations in the shape of huts were stylized to further inspire imagination and creativity.
In response to the campus radio station’s demand for a soundproof separation between the recording room and the studio, our team created an archway in vivid red and sun-drenched yellow, a trompe l’oeil blurring the physical boundary between two spaces. From the microphone-shaped lights to the dotted sound absorption panels, the whole space was designed to be both functional and joyful.
Spaces dedicated to music and dance lessons are spaces where students shall discover themselves and their creative talents. Here, our design team once more replaced the walls between the dance studio and the public corridor with transparent glass folding doors, setting the stage for the performers inside and inviting the audiences outside to pause and enjoy.
At the reading center, different shapes outlined by light films on the ceiling designate a number of areas for different purposes. To speak to the young minds, our team specifically combined elements such as cartoon huts with open bookshelves, comfortable sofas, and user-friendly stools, which can connect different corners of the reading center in an organic manner and create expandable spaces for in situ reading.
Aside from careful considerations over aesthetics and utility, we also took advantage of the height difference of the original space, and introduced several large sun-shaped luminous film. When the lights are turned on, the coffee area is bathed in warm sunlight with spring flowers in full bloom, honoring the Jiangnan landscape and seaside heritage of Jinshan.
With LINEWORKS’ meticulous and inventive design, learning activities at the new campus not only take place in classrooms, but also extend to everywhere students go. The new space echoes with the school’s educational philosophy, a combining force between regular and situational teaching, social-friendly inquiry and personalized learning, as well as basic curriculum and individual exploration. In this project, we design to enhance the curriculum, to inspire diverse learning experiences, and to create a space of leisure, solitude, and growth.
CLIENT：Jin’Shan No.2 Experimental Primary School
TEAM：Mike ChenCiya QinLucky Lu