A school is a community: a micro-society, a mini city within a city. It is an oasis yet has a direct relationship with the city at large. Our idea is simple; the spatial concept is to bring students and teachers together with the playground and other spaces and activities, to encourage interactions. Breaking away from the typical densely-built 8-storey school building in Hong Kong with a ground level ball-court, this school adopts a low-rise 4-storey design, with the basketball court raised on the first floor, sited in the middle of the campus, creating a focus, pulling together spaces and activities.
From the entrance plaza, students follow a staircase route to encounter the covered-playground, central ball-court and library roof garden, creating a sense of discovery of spaces, to stimulate the passion for self-discovery. This staircase path connects the three major open spaces of the school, setting the orientation of the campus.
The old tradition of Hong Kong’s walled-village is re-interpreted in the school. In similar way as a village’s ancestral hall, houses, square and lanes would be strategically laid out within the village wall; within the campus wall, the assembly hall which reads as the town hall of the school complex, the library and the classrooms are arranged in different blocks around the central ball-court, with link-bridges, courtyards, street and colonnades, shaping the school as a micro-polis, conceived as a whole by using major urban design elements of a city. Courtyards, streetscapes and overlooking terraces bring closer different spaces and activities, encouraging interactions.
Gardens on different levels provide green scenery for the interiors and attract communications between the indoor and open spaces. Gardens and vertical greening together with fair-faced concrete, metal and timber screens compose a variety of spatial experiences to be discovered; while creating an oasis in the city.