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The Design of this Chinese Elementary School is a Total Game Changer for Students

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Space is limited in urban areas, which is a big reason skyscraper apartment buildings are prominent features. But the lack of personal residences isn’t the only issue in metropolitan areas —inner city schools also face spatial challenges. Architects Atelier FCJZ found innovative ways to create more indoor and outdoor space for children in Jing Long Elementary and Middle School.

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

Building Up Instead of Building Out

The Jing Long Elementary School in Shenzhen, China, boasts nearly 320,000 square feet spread across six stories. 

The school has 36 classes, and the architects were challenged to make space for all the necessary rooms. Since expanding the building horizontally wasn’t an option, they worked with vertical space, similar to the surrounding buildings.

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

JingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ DeckJingLong Elementary School Atelier FCJZ Deck

Making the Outdoors Accessible From All Six Stories

The children needed outdoor access, but making it to the bottom floor and back to class in their ten-minute breaks wasn’t practical. So, the architects incorporated outdoor, open-air spaces at every level.

At the center of each story is an open space roofed by its upper floor. The area lacks enclosed walls and is large enough for many activities. Teachers can hold classes in each of these spaces, which can also be playgrounds, exercise areas, or discussion areas.

Each enclosure has wire mesh fence, with vines climbing up it for a touch of greenery.

The bottom of the building features two landscaped sections and a track for the kids to exercise and play.


Photographs: Yu Bai



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