A new school that aspires to be more than a think-tank
The HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity is just a secondary school, but it has a curriculum that emphasises humanities and the creative arts. The campus is therefore perceived as a think-tank to promote interaction, improvisation and creativity. The objective of the architecture is to create spaces that are conducive to such endeavours.
The design deliberately expresses the functional components as unique volumes, with the Gallery, Resource Centre and Special Teaching Facilities arranged on either side of an internal promenade penetrating the entire length of the campus, with the teaching blocks spanning transversely on top. The auditorium block caps the end and yet allows punctuation for future connection to the open space to the south. The compactness of the campus and the introduction of an internalised street that could be open to the public at times ensure liveliness and spontaneity of daily un-planned activities.
The architecture actualises the vision of building a proactive learning community by emphasising and facilitating interactions between teaching teams and students. The disposition of blocks defines a variety of open pocket spaces on podium roofs at different levels. The interaction is further enhanced by the facing arrangement of the two classroom blocks that sandwich the link decks and critique rooms in between, creating a series of overlooking platforms for encounters.
While the forms of the blocks spell out the functions behind the walls, the space of the programme is flexible in nature to accommodate different possibilities. The auditorium is both a black box theatre for performing arts and a school assembly hall, while the creative promenade is both a passage and a catwalk for parade. Steps and stairs can be transformed to makeshift audience seating for spectacles. The project is not about designing fixity, but accommodating creativity. The idea is to let activities transform spaces, displays substitute surfaces, and to let users carry on with the spirit of design suggested by the architecture.