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Shenzhen, Guangdong


Shenzhen faces enormous pressure on schooling capacity. In the next three years, it plans to add 210,000 new slots for enrolment. At the same time, innovation in education concepts and curriculum also puts new demands on space.

To address these issues PAO proposes the concept of a miniature city. Children are inspired to learn in a city-like environment, and are exposed to a variety of activities, inspiring a rich mix of social interactions and creativity. To this end, we employ three specific design strategies focusing on 'hybrid space', 'open space' and 'collective space'.

A hybrid use of space can provide a wide array of communication possibilities, offering ample opportunities for informal learning. Open spaces help to understand the bigger picture. Emphasis on social relationships and collaboration can help shape the spatial and emotional environment of a school and catalyze a sense of identity.

The “Miniature City” concept is an attempt to build a stimulating self-directed learning environment, serving as a model for innovative educational spaces that could be adopted in more schools.


Client:Bureau Public Works of Futian District, Shenzhen Municipality

Location:Shenzhen, Guangdong

Date of Completion: Mar 2018

Principals:He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng

Project Team:Kong Ming, Feng Ziqing, Sha Jinghai, Li Zhenghua, Wang Pengfei, Chi Mengdi, Xu Jialing

Project Status:Competition

Building Area:64 966 sqm

Date of Design:March, 2018