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An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

China Architecture News - Apr 20, 2018 - 05:28   12757 views

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Zaha Hadid Architects has revealed plans for a new primary school complex in Jiangxi, China, the new educational institute will feature vaulted roofs that will combine the traditional construction techniques with a robotic construction on site to accelerate the construction process and reduce costs.

Dubbed as Lushan Primary School, the new educational institute will house 120 children located 160km north-west of Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Province, and serve 12 local villages with a total population of about 1,800 people.

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Image © VA

The school's site is surrounded by mountains as well as the rivers and lakes fed by the Zhelin Reservoir, the complex will take place within an agricultural region that also has a rich tradition in the production of ceramics. 

The school’s curriculum will be a synthesis of Chinese and international academic systems; combining an education in the creative arts with a comprehensive syllabus of STEM subjects that also includes advanced internet-based learning technologies. 

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Image © VA

The Lushan Primary School will accept visiting teachers and artists from other countries, regions to make the school a focus for the community it serves. 

The campus will consist of a school, dormitory and utility buildings hidden under vaulted spaces that connect directly with their rural surroundings. Due to their low-rise structural systems and two-sided facades, the classrooms have flexible learning arrangements and outdoor teaching areas.

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Image © ZHA

The studio creates a network of barrel and parabolic vaults that open towards the river, the vaults stretch and intersect to accommodate the  school’s varied programme. The complex includes a long central courtyard that acts as the school’s main circulation space and play area.

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Image © VA

"The vaulted classrooms are orientated for the best natural light conditions, as well as to frame views to the surrounding landscape. Cantilevers protect the classrooms from the solar gain of Jiangxi’s sub-tropical climate and extend the teaching spaces into the landscape to provide a varied and interactive learning environment," said ZHA in its project description.

"The barrel and parabolic vaults act as the school’s primary structure and enclosure, with each vault performing as an individual structural element," the firm added.

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Image © VA

ZHA will use in-situ concrete construction with new advancements in hot-wire cut foam formwork that can be prepared on site by an industrial robot to create the barrel and parabolic shaped moulds, to minimise construction time and also reduce the number of separate building elements required to be transported to the school’s remote location.

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Main hall. Image © ZHA

"The modularity of the vaults enables moulds to be used multiple times, further accelerating the construction process and reducing costs," explained ZHA.

"The region’s long history of producing the highest quality ceramics dates from the Ming Dynasty. These traditions are continued in the school’s ceramic external finishes laid in a gradient of tones that express the differing programmes within."

"Located on a small peninsula surrounded on three sides by water and bordering farmland to the north, the school is on an elevated escarpment five metres above the 50-year flood level," they added. 

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Main hall. Image © ZHA

Its surrounding landscape incorporates outdoor teaching spaces and sports facilities, and also serves as a natural water catchment area to further protect the school from flooding. This surrounding landscape rises towards the school, creating natural areas within its raised courtyards.

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Workshop space. Image © ZHA

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

View from classroom. Image © ZHA

An industrial robot will build Zaha Hadid Architects' barrel-vaulted primary school in Jiangxi

Main entrance to the school. Image © ZHA

The firm will be working with an engineering firm Shing and Partners Design Group (SPDG) on this project. The project is led by Patrik Schumacher, Partner of ZHA.

Project facts

Project Team
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Project Director: Charles Walker, Nils Fischer
ZHA Project Architect: Michal Wojtkiewicz
ZHA Project Associate: Armando Solano
ZHA Project Team: Nassim Eshaghi, Nastasja Mitrovic, Marko Margeta, Hung-Da Chien
Engineering: Shing and Partners Design Group (SPDG)

Top image © ZHA

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