American International School of Guangzhou Science Park Campus

Guangzhou, China

Established in 1981 for the children of American diplomats, AISG was the first school of its kind in southern China and the oldest not-for-profit international school in Guangzhou. The school’s reconstruction and expansion builds upon this legacy.

A New Heart

The expansion features a new upper elementary school (grades 4 and 5), a dining hall, and a renovated secondary school (grades 6-12).

The layout, derived from a comprehensive analysis of AISG’s functional needs, divides the campus into three program clusters: academic, arts and culture, and athletics and recreation.

"The Master Facilities Plan was intentionally designed with the future of learning in mind. A redevelopment project across both campuses, Science Park and Ersha will transform educational spaces into world-class learning environments."

― Kevin Baker, School Director, AISG

Before and After

Facing the unique challenges of a steep urban site with an active academic calendar, the AISG team skillfully navigated these constraints with extensive research and careful planning.

The school adopted a three-phase renovation strategy that deftly balanced construction work with ongoing classes. This approach not only maximized the use of available space but also ensured uninterrupted learning during the renovation.

At the heart of the campus is a luminous atrium. Doubling as a vibrant multimedia library, this central hub is equipped with recording studios, creative discussion areas, and cutting-edge digital media suites, fostering an atmosphere of interdisciplinary learning and innovation. A broad social stair connects the three levels and a variety of seating options provide places for group collaboration or individual focus.

Before and After
Flexibility Meets Function

What sets the campus apart are its dynamic classrooms. These rooms are equipped with folding and sliding partitions and modular furnishings that can easily adapt to diverse teaching styles—from collaborative projects to independent study sessions.

The updated campus offers a variety of spaces that give students a choice in how, when, and where they learn, creating a world-class educational environment that supports different learning styles.

Retractable walls allow classrooms to expand, transforming corridor areas into break out spaces. This allows for a wide range of learning experiences, including roundtable discussions, group activities, and independent study. This adaptable layout empowers teachers and students to explore their creative horizons.

Before and After
"In the context of urban renewal in China, many schools are in need of redevelopment. AISG stands as a shining example, showcasing how an existing school campus can be completely transformed within the existing site to meet the needs of international education for the 21st century."

― Paul Rice, Principal and Design Director, Perkins&Will

Project Team

James Lu - headshot
James Lu
Aimee Eckmann
Paul Rice - headshot
Paul Rice