- Interiors Designers: NEILI LAB
- Location: Ganquan Foreign Languages Middle School, Shanghai, China
- Architect In Charge: Jiaqing Wu, Jia Lin
- Area: 800.0 m2
- Project Year: 2017
- Photographs: Wenjie Hu
Text description provided by the architects. The case is located on one of the roof top of Shanghai Ganquan Foreign Languages Middle School. It’s a re-transformation case against the original flat-to-slope roof.This is from the designers’ perspective, an innovative attempt on school space transformation, in which all space is different from the conventional classroom, so as to express the Ganquan School’s smart innovation culture and spirit.
Meanwhile, in order to maximize the smart innovative function , the space design is mainly focus on the main users (students). We follow the design concept of the “hidden education” (ie, children’s psychology, behavior & cognitive science etc.) and emphasize this point on all the design elements, thus to create the most appropriate smart innovative environment.
As an idle space after the flat-to-slope roof project, there are series of issues on beams’ and columns’ insensitivity, pipeline staggering, illumination, water tank and etc.
To create a new experiential and smart innovation space for students, we found the dense columns to be the biggest issue during the design. While on the other hand, would we take advantage of them? So our designers start reverse thinking and thus lead birth to our main design concpt of “Innovation Cubes in the Forest.”
Dense columns seem just like trees in the forest. We cleverly combined them with the room, the furniture and all the public spaces in order to create an interesting green learning space with rich experiences. This design concept also reflects the harmony between human being and the nature.
Columns and “Cubes”
As there are too many columns, the traditional horizontal and vertical arrangement would lead to inefficient use of internal space, so we rotate each group of cube and adjust the distance between the columns and the cubes and the angle between cubes so as to maximize the available room meanwhile taking care of the overall aesthetics of the space.
Columns and Furniture
We try to explore the more natural combination between columns and furniture: the columns’ growing out of the table are making the furniture become more fascinating with a spinning axis and yet the curves hanging between the two neighboring columns are naturally becoming a comfortable hammock and etc.
The Entrance and the Exhibition Hall
Natural and simple logo wall at the entrance gently guides us into this “Innovation forest” which is full of surprise. The exhibition hall tells the story about “the forest” from the past to nowadays, which is, all the design and re-transformation process of the space itself.
Each Cube is marked with a different fresh color, in which the students could experience a different inspirational space. The spaces are equipped with functional devices and furniture with different geometric element, thus forming a multi-dimensional environment with multi-color & multi-shape co-combination, which serve better for inspiring students’ creativity and enthusiasm of exploring the space.
The Gaps among “the Cubes”
The various gaps among “the Cubes” create a variety of recreational spaces for neighboring students.
Water Tank！Water Tank? Water Tank!
Taking use of the height and volume of the original water tank，designers surprise us with such a comprehensive area with the multiple functionality of meeting, group discussion, video conference and reading.
International interactive kitchen
Through the internet video connection system, students in this area could connect all the international sister schools and carry out real-time interactive sharing, displaying Chinese cooking culture or exchanging methods of cooking western snacks.
The design works bring us a brand new look of the overall space. Meantime in order to allow students to better understand the original structures here, we specially reserve a space in the rear part of the area (Multi-functional Makers’ Space) with retention of original appearance, so that the space now could “speak” to its past tense.
“Soft” Implantation of the Knowledge
Through the graphic design’s study approach, we implant “softly” into the relevant areas and products all these popular science and design psychology knowledge applied in this space, so that students would access the related knowledge while using this space before they ever noticed it.