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High School Attached to CNU, Beijing, China, 2012 - 2013

The school is located in the mountain area at western suburb of Beijing, adjacent to Baiwang Mountain and not far from Western Hills. Before urbanization reaches here, it is a rural area with villages. OPEN’s task is to design a modern high school which can accommodate 1500 students. For the population of the school, the site appears to be extremely small and has an irregular shape. The starting point of the design is to make full use of the very limited and disadvantaged site and create a campus which maximizes spacial experience and connects with the surrounding macro environment. We are trying to create organic buildings that seems to grow from this site naturally.

There are two major inspirations for the design: Mountain and Village. "Mountain" as a metaphor, it is the context and spirit of this place; “Village” is the very typology that we organize the campus. In and between the buildings, we have tried to create multi-layered public spaces. The aim is to create a new campus that is organic, natural and provide best environment for study.

In this rather cramped site, the complicated functions of a campus were assigned to five separate buildings, including middle school, high school, laboratory building, auditorium and dormitory. They are rising from a shared platform like five boulders. Large public spaces (playground, library and cafeteria, etc.) as well as ancillary facilities for the entire school are incorporated under the platform.

Creating public spaces is an important aspect in this project, in order to provide the students with necessary opportunities of social interaction. We injected lots of social spaces into the campus. The five big boulders twist and turn, forming dynamic outdoor spaces in between. At the end of this valley like outdoor space, it is a perfect view of the Baiwang Mountain. Under the platform, connecting the large functional spaces together, is the continuous public space. It also links the separate buildings above with weather-proof indoor access. Public spaces of various size and shape scattered throughout the buildings provide friendly spaces for social interaction. Within the campus, students and teachers have ample opportunities to meet, to play and to relax.


2012 - 2013
Beijing, China
Vanke Beijing


Principal in Charge:
Li Hu
Huang Wenjing
Project Team:
Chen Chen
Simina Silvia Cuc
Zhou Tingting
Daijiro Nakayama
Ye Qing
Wu Lan
John Lim
Zhang Xue
Jia Han
Cynthia Cui