Chaoyang Future School, Beijing

Designed by: Crossboundaries / BIAD International Studio
For client: Affiliated High School of Peking University Floor area: 26000.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Best Use of Colour

Frame Award2
© Wang Ziling

From within each building, its color identity is continuous. The Art Center, Auditorium.

About the Project

Chaoyang Future School integrates architectural re-use with pedagogical innovation. Strongly incorporating the use of color throughout the façade, landscape and interior, the project provides identity and intuitive orientation and emphasizes flexibility and interconnectedness.
Renovated facades preserve the rhythm of the original fenestrations, projecting square frames undulate in response to the spatial activities within. Washed in colors inspired by the rich deciduous and evergreen flora of the site, they sustain the liveliness of the outdoor spaces and bring them deep into the buildings. Green hues outline the public face of the campus, subtly fading yellow before warming to a deep red as they reach the campus center.
Interior spaces use corresponding colors to relay their programmatic identity. The vibrant, red Art Center is the gravitational heart of the campus; warm oranges mark the canteen and café; lively yellows gild faculty spaces and bright greens invigorate classrooms. They also differentiate the girls’ and boys’ dormitories in deeper shades of yellow and green.
The Learning Center’s interventions dissolve spatial boundaries of the existing building, producing collaborate learning spaces. Multifunctional ‘islands’ and double-height ‘bridges’ activity spaces are highlighted with color to stimulate their creative use. Fully integrated into the interior and exterior of each space, the colors reflect a school for holistic, creative, and innovative education.

What’s unique about it

Crossboundaries approach was to use a single holistic solution – color - that married all the needs of this refurbishment, adding to the ongoing lifespan of an existing campus. Built in the 1980s, facilities were degraded and deteriorated with traditional and institutional layouts – corridors and closed spaces. Color delivers the key solution to the clients brief to rethink the nature of Chinese education. It signals the core values of the school - flexibility, interconnectedness and identity.
Beyond the basic upgrade ‘interventions’ were implemented attributing the schools' values. Amplified in color they revive the natural qualities of the flora found on campus in its previous state. More than decoration the color palette is a multilayered approach to communicate and address the many levels of interaction of each intervention.
Windows, negotiate from the urban scale to the human, expressing activity inside to the outside, the bigger the opening or the deeper the frame the more public the function behind. Façades give orientation, as individual colors identify functions and program, the wayfinding continues down to signage localized to each function. ‘Islands’ and ‘Bridges’ in the learning center, accentuated in color, deliver flexibility allowing school and pupil evolution over time.
The School rejects conventions of separating functions and activities to create elements that multiply and bring together people, connecting both the neighborhood and the community within.

Frame Award1
© Yang Chaoying

The vibrant, red Art Center functions as the gravitational heart of the campus.

Frame Award3
© Yang Chaoying

The negative of the Art Center’s red windows is reimagined as user-defined furniture.

Frame Award6
© Mini Liu / Yang Chaoying

Girls’ and boys’ facilities are differentiated in deeper shades of yellow and green.

Frame Award5
© Mini Liu / Wang Ziling

Lively yellows gild faculty spaces and additional student support areas.

Frame Award7
© Wang Ziling / Yang Chaoying

Color invigorates activity 'bridges' and signage is suggestive of how to use the furniture.

Frame Award4
© Wang Ziling

Warm, rich oranges mark the canteen and café, the areas for service are differentiated in color.

Frame Award8
© Wang Ziling / Mini Liu

Collaborative learning ‘islands’ are highlighted in color stimulating creative use.

Frame Award9
© Yang Chaoying

Green frames outline the public face of the campus.

Location of project:
Crossboundaries / BIAD International Studio

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