Nanshan Foreign Language School (NFLS) is a 54m000 primary and middle school campus that includes regular and more special classrooms, a library, a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool, an auditorium and a dormitory for teachers, as well as dedicated canteens and playgrounds. 

Located in Shenzhen's Nanshan District, the NFLS campus represents the final piece of a decade-long redevelopment process that has seen a condensed urban village transform into a contemporary vertical city. Surrounded by high density residential development and commercial towers, the main challenge of the project was to regenerate an urban condition shattered by contemporary development.

Connections with nature encourage creativity and foster new ways of thinking. One of the main goals of the project was to create an intimate environment for teaching that would connect students to the natural world beyond the site. The dense verticality of the neighborhood surrounding the site made this goal even more pressing - the desire to create opportunities for students and teachers to interact with nature is a driving force behind the design - which led the team to design to create a horizontal, low-density school.

The NFLS campus is designed as a vast horizontal garden that contrasts with the dense, vertical urban environment it serves. The school intentionally breaks the distinction between building and open space to create a linear hybrid comprising enclosed spaces, semi-enclosed areas and open green spaces. 

The NFLS project also intentionally breaks with conventional school design principles that typically divide a site into buildings and functional areas, opting instead for a sectional organization that maximizes access to light and views for each classroom. This strategy allows multiple variations of sections and creates various spatial conditions for recreation, interaction and education.

Link-Arc conducted numerous design studies to optimize the building's response to Shenzhen's hot and humid climate. The staggered organization of the bars in the classrooms allows each room access to light, while their single-load arrangement favors their natural ventilation. The treatment of the building facade also serves to maximize the climate response of the building. The north facades are defined by high performance glass and operable windows. Those facing east have architectural shading devices that minimize environmental impact.

Here is a great achievement led by Studio Link Arc, LLC.


Visuals ©: Shengliang Su


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