Nanshan Foreign Language School is a 54,000 m² elementary and middle school campus, comprising regular and specialized classrooms, library, gymnasium, swimming pool, auditorium, dormitory, along with dining halls and dedicated playgrounds.
The campus is conceived as a sweeping, horizontal garden that stands in sharp contrast with the ever denser, ever more vertical urban environment. The design intentionally blurs the distinction between building and open space in favor of a low-rise linear hybrid of closed, semi-enclosed, and open spaces. Studio Link-Arc’s design uses the natural slope of the site to top the large program volumes of the gym, pool, dining halls and auditorium with a series of terraced platforms. This configuration allows an unrestrained linear organization of all teaching spaces without developing the building vertically.
The design uses three-story bar arrangements of staggered classrooms that sweep the site from east to west, chasing every available square inch of sunlight penetrating the surrounding concrete forest. The sinuous motion of classroom ribbons generates a fluid sequence of outdoor spaces tailored to the specific needs of each teaching area.
The project deliberately breaks away from conventional school design in favor of a sectional organization of spaces in order to maximize access to green space and daylight. The sectional variation spurs a series of spatial configurations that calls for an intelligent response to different environmental conditions. Given Shenzhen's hot and humid climate, the design introduces a weather protective system formed by hangovers, shading boxes, and aluminum panels, based on a rigorous solar study.