Bridge School

Bridge School

Architect
Atelier Li Xiaodong
Location
Fujian, China
Project Year
2009
Category
Primary Schools

the Bridge, the School, the Playground, the Stage

Atelier Li Xiaodong as Architects

Located at a remote village, Fujian Province in China, the project does not only provides a physical function - a school + a bridge, but also presents a spiritual centre. The main concept of the design is to enliven an old community (the village) and to sustain a traditional culture (the castles and lifestyle) through a contemporary language which does not compete with the traditional, but presents and communicates with the traditional with respect. It is done by combining few different functions into one space – a bridge which connects two old castles cross the creek, a school which also symbolically connects past, current with future, a playground (for the kids) and the stage (for the villagers).


A light weight structure traverse a small creek in a single, supple bound, essentially, it is an intelligent contemporary take on the archetype of the inhabited bridge. Supported on concrete piers (which also has the function of a small shop), the simple steel structure acts like a giant box girder that’s been slightly dislocated, so the building subtly twists, rises and falls as it spans the creek. Inside are a pair of almost identical. Wedge-shaped classrooms, each tapering towards the mid point of the structure (which holds a small public library). Although it’s possible to use the building as a bridge, a narrow crossing suspended underneath the steel structure and anchored by tensile wires offers an alternative and more direct route.


Catalyzing a sense of history, the project is more than just a school, but a social centre of the entire village. Physically lightness and spatial fluidity are key. By a means of sliding and folding doors, the school can be transformed into an impromptu theatre or play structure. The steel frame is wrapped in a veil of slim timber slats, which filter light and temper the interior with cooling breeze – Fujian, on China’s south-east climate. With an assurance that belies its rustic setting, the new building also acts as a foil to the mass and weight of the neighboring historical structures.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Apartment in Alphaville
next project

Apartment in Alphaville

Apartments
Alphaville, Santana de Parnaíba - State of São Paulo, Brazil - Build completed in 2020
View Project