A rural school in China seems an unusual choice for a firm with as high a profile as ZHA. However, the school in question was established by Jinggan Yu, who is the president of the College of the Arts in Jiangxi Province. Yu is an architect and also established China's first specialist interior design company, which is very successful, and so presumably has the kind of connections required.
Assuming it goes ahead (it's not yet clear whether this is definite), Lushan Primary School will serve around 120 children from 12 local villages. The project will include a school, a dormitory, and some utility buildings. Interestingly, ZHA plans to use a robot made by Odico to speed up build time and reduce costs.
"To minimize construction time and also reduce the number of separate building elements required to be transported to the school's remote location, ZHA proposes to combine the local skills of in-situ concrete construction with new advancements in hot-wire cut foam formwork that can be prepared on site by an industrial robot to create the barrel and parabolic shaped moulds," says the firm.
The classrooms will be carefully orientated to maximize natural light and frame views of the surrounding landscape. Overhanging roof sections will help protect from solar heat gain, and the exteriors will be partly clad in ceramic tiles, which is a nod to the region's long history of producing high-quality ceramics.
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