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A new campus for the German and French schools is being created in the Yangpu district of Shanghai to plans by gmp Architects. The two independent school buildings share public and communal areas at the future Eurocampus. At the heart of the school complex, a piazza provides space for German and French students to meet.
gmp Architects are involved in the design of a shared campus for the German School and the French School in Shanghai. In view of the fact that the two existing schools in the Pudong district have reached their respective capacities, a competition was organized for a new Eurocampus in the commercially buoyant university and business district, Yangpu, to the north-east of Shanghai. The location has the benefit of good transport links and a family-friendly environment, as well as proximity to the Waigaoqiao Freetrade Zone, the seat of numerous European companies. The planned school campus has a total area of about 50,000 m² and will provide facilities for 1,600 German- and French-speaking children, offering education from nursery through to university qualification.
The 56,500 m² large site is located in a residential area with low-rise buildings and carefully landscaped recreation areas with water courses. The Jiangwancheng Road and its urban surroundings form the boundary of the site to the west, the side where the main entrance to the campus will be located. Another important transport route, Yinhang Road, borders the site to the north and provides access to Shanghai’s public transport system, while in the east the site boundary runs along a canal with a public park.
With the French School located to the north and the German School to the south of the site, each with its own building, the special feature of the design lies in between – the center of the complex has been designed as a central forum for both schools, where all the students of the Eurocampus can enjoy shared facilities such as a theater, a canteen, a break/play area, and a sports center. The forum is accessed via a piazza on three levels, which links the two teaching buildings, the school bus parking area, and the communal areas with public functions. The concept of two schools sharing a communal center not only preserves the individuality of the respective schools, but also creates a place with a feel of European togetherness.
The two school buildings are similar though not identical, and provide different schedules of accommodation to suit the different national educational concepts. Atriums are provided with areas for extended communal uses on all stories. These areas can be used for teaching in small groups, and encourage interaction between different age groups during break times. The secondary schools are located in the 5-story wing of the buildings while the areas for primary school and nursery have been accommodated in the lower parts, which face the play and sports areas embedded in the landscape towards the canal and park. Unlike the façades of the school building with their small-scale structuring, the communal areas are designed homogeneously, with louvre elements across all use areas and stories.
The new campus is not only a meeting place for students, parents, and members of staff, but – with its terraced walk-on roofs – it also forms a link between the urban neighborhood and the green space. A large majority of the jury of school representatives and consultants from politics and business chose the gmp design from the entries of the four finalists; the jury had special praise for the From Urban to Green approach.
Location: Shanghai, China
Area: 50,000 sqm
Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Magdalene Weiss
Project leader: Fanny Hoffmann-Loss
Team: Martin Friedrich, Huang Meng, Jiang Wei, Liu Lingxue, Oliver Loesser, Fabian Schlitt, Fan Yejing, Hannes Roth
Client: German School Shanghai (Pudong), French School Shanghai