Project: The New School in Xinan Ancient Village
Award: Pro-bono, Gold, 2022
Location: Puning, China
Client: Xinan Public Welfare Council
This project imaginatively used limited funds to transform a redundant two storey village house into a school, as part of a rural revitalization campaign in the village of Xinan in Puning in China’s Guangdong province. It has been designed to serve as a library and educational place for the many school-age children who live in the village, as well as other local people. Outdoor steps added to the front of the building have become a stage for performances and a place for sitting and painting. A dilapidated outside area has been transformed into a small courtyard while a newly added arch on the first floor connects the arts and crafts area with the adjacent classroom. New windows also bring in fresh air and sunlight to the former storage room on the second floor, providing a place for children to play.
Retaining the large banyan tree next to the building was important and this has been sensitively integrated into the design. Windows and doorways in this previously dark corner now let sunlight and tree shadows pour into the room. Children sitting in the house reading can look up to see the "big banyan tree" and hear the birds singing in the tree.
Photo credit: Zhan Changheng
- LEAD ARCHITECT: Zhan Tao