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Vanke International School launches in Shanghai

A bilingual state-of-the-art school with staff accommodation has replaced a disused vocational college with residential towers. These existing buildings were refurbished to provide flexible spaces that encourage learning, and are designed to cope with future changes in the way students work, as well as for community use.

With 1,810 pupils the school is split into different zones comprising kindergarten, primary and secondary. The classrooms are grouped into clusters that surround breakout spaces, and can change from 60 sq m to 120 sq m via acoustic folding partition walls.

Large external, social and performance spaces are shared to enhance user interaction. This includes a central courtyard which sits beneath an adaptable canopy, giving the option to fully cover the courtyard when it rains. Other shared facilities include an amphitheatre, sports pitches, athletics track and vegetable plots for students to grow their own plants. The existing college’s sports hall remained, gaining the addition of new drama and dance studios that have the flexibility to merge into one large assembly hall. Activities can also extend out into the external open terraces.

BDP was architect, interior designer and masterplanner for this project which opened in September 2017.

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