The metaphor of weaving is a common motif for region, site strategy, and planning. Hangzhou, China is celebrated for its heritage in textile production. Interwoven bars symbolize this tradition and link to the past as the area becomes a new home for the tech industry.
For Hangzhou School, the woven geometry of the building begins to suggest a stitch that binds together the more wild and unpredictable quality of the river’s edge to the west, with the rational, geometric landscape of the drop off and entry to the east side of the site.
Each bar represents a step as students progress in their studies. The two most southern bars are the elementary school, the third is the middle school and the fourth is the high school. At the end of each classroom bar, where it merges into the next, there is an opportunity for mixing ages and academic subjects in a dynamic multifunctional space linked vertically with sculptural stairways. These transitional moments are the most celebrated interior spaces linking classrooms on upper levels to common functions on the ground level and in the basement.
The building design also effectively interlocks with the surrounding landscape, creating attractive outdoor learning area and gardens, both horizontally and vertically. The number of classroom window with views to nature is also maximized.