School of Architecture, CUHK

Meili Primary School (Shenzhen) by
Prof. Zhu Jingxiang

To cope with the population growth in recent years, the Shenzhen government is expanding and reconstructing existing schools, and during this, the city urgently needs high-quality transition school buildings, which could be built with lightweight architectural elements on idle, sporadic land lots in the city. A transition campus in the Futian Shangmeilin area, with a floor area of nearly 6,000 square metres for the temporary use of Meili Primary School, is one key example.

A design-build project led by Prof. Zhu Jingxiang and his research team, through coordination between and supervised by the Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality (Futian District), Futian Education Bureau and Shenzhen Tagen Group, the transition campus of Meili Primary School was opened in late 2018.

Constructed within just five months, the transition Meili Primary School is composed of modular units, which allow flexible use of classrooms of different sizes, music rooms, multi-purpose rooms, offices, and medical rooms, as well as dormitories for students and staff, by simply adjusting the enclosures, partitions and furniture. The spatial system uses a lightweight pre-fabricated steel frame and steel composite floor slab enclosures to speed up the construction process. Most building materials used are structural materials, so that construction workers only had to assemble and connect the pre-fabricated components according to the instruction drawing, while renovation odour is absent inside the new building.

The Shenzhen government plans to reconstruct the transition school in different locations to provide quality learning space for other schools in need.

The building of a new school involves various procedures and considerations from planning to operation, as well as tremendous resources such as land, which may cause delays in the development of education affairs. The Meili transition school is a collaborative cultural achievement between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, which not only provides an innovative campus solution for Futian’s students and teachers, but also presents a new direction for architectural construction in the Greater Bay Area and beyond.

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