Located in a remote village, Fujian Province in China, the project does not only provide a physical function – a school and a bridge – but also presents a spiritual centre. The main concept of the design is to enliven an old community (the village) and to sustain a traditional culture (the castles and lifestyle) through a contemporary language that does not compete with tradition, but presents and communicates with it respectfully.
This has been done by combining few different functions into one space – a bridge which connects two old castles across the creek, a school which also symbolically connects past, current with future, a playground (for the kids) and a stage (for the villagers).
Supported by a concrete pier (which also has the function of a small shop), the simple steel structure acts like a giant box girder that’s been slightly dislocated, so the building subtly twists, rises and falls as it spans the creek. Inside the building there are two almost identical, wedge-shaped classrooms, each tapering towards the mid point of the structure (which holds a small public library).