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Discovery Landscape

Chengdu, CN


The Haiyang Road Middle School is designed to stimulate learning through the integration of nature.

The campus is conceived as a landscape of discovery, offering students an immersive and ever-changing natural environment that inspires creative thinking. Students learn in ways that extend beyond what can be done sitting at a desk. Learning amongst nature provides opportunities to understand the world through direct observation and experience.

The school is designed as a continuous landscape that ensures students are always in touch with nature. Curving walkways that wind around undulating hills and across courtyards to connect students and teachers to a wide range of learning spaces to choose from. Students can access every level of the school through this landscape. Classrooms on each floor are also immediately adjacent to green space. This makes it convenient for teachers to take advantage of both indoor and outdoor spaces for teaching. 

Integrating natural landscape ensures students are connected to the ecological world. They are better able to understand their interdependence with the environment and their role as stewards. The landscaping is designed with diversity in mind. A wide variety of plants are chosen from different locations in Sichuan to ensure biodiversity and expose students to different ecologies. Seasonal change and local species inhabit the school add to students’ awareness of natural systems.

The school also contributes significantly to the surrounding community. The design makes it possible to turn the school into an open public park when school is out. Large facilities such as the gym, library, and multipurpose hall are placed in locations that makes opening them up to the local community convenient. Public seating and covered rest areas take the place of the perimeter wall that would typically surround a school. And the large landscaped area counters the heat island effect found in cities and adds to the general comfort of the surrounding urban area.

Discovery Landscape

Client:Chengdu Tianfu New District Park Urban Construction Bureau

Location:Chengdu, CN

Date of Completion: Jun 2021

Principals:He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng

Project Team:Huang Jia, Li Yuanxin, Zhou Shimin, Kim Dahyun, Anouchka van Driel, Guo Mingran, Li Chunying

Photographer:People's Architecture Office

Building Area:42,760 sqm

Status:Second Place in the Competition