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Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

Singapore Architecture News - Dec 04, 2023 - 09:38   4520 views

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

Huizhen High School designed by Approach Design Studio/Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group in China has been named as the World Building of the Year at the 2023 World Architecture Festival (WAF).

On December 1, the ultimate accolades of World Building of the Year, World Interior of the Year, Future Project of the Year and Landscape of the Year were announced as hundreds of delegates from across the world convened at a grand finale Gala Dinner at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

A host of Special Prizes, including the International Building Beauty Prize, Best Use of Colour Prize and Small Project of the Year were also announced at the closing event, to celebrate the sixteenth edition of the festival. 

The announcement follows the final day of WAF, in which prize winners across all 44 categories competed for the winning titles.

World Architecture Community is official media partner of this year's WAF.

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

The project was initially shortlisted in the Completed Building School category. 

Located in Jiangbei District, Ningbo City, Huizhen is a bold exploration of ‘efficiency-first’ campus design where time can be ‘wasted’ seriously. 

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

The boarding school campus is a ‘floating forest’ with classrooms hung in each corner of the forest and joined by meandering paths. Scattered tree houses provide students with temporary escapes from the burden of school. 

A ramp leads up to a gentle sloping roof, which doubles as an open-air lecture hall and a rooftop park with sporting facilities, usable by the public at the weekend – creating a new typology of architectural promenade.

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

"Our focus was not just about designing a school"

"We always try to explore the boundaries of architecture while making something that’s fun," said Di Ma, Director at Approach Design Studio/Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group. 

"Our focus was not just about designing a school, or working with new forms, spaces, materials and facades, but about designing new school life and bringing the power of nature into the building."

"The building gives students a space to relax and relieve their stresses between their lessons," Ma added.

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

"Unexpected and delightful"

"We loved this building as it is unexpected, and delightful. The architects have managed to create a school which is very different to the usual model where students are boxed in and put under teaching and architectural pressure," said Paul Finch, Programme Director of the World Architecture Festival. 

"By contrast, this design encourages, walking, fresh air and the possibility of reflection away from academic intensity," Finch continued.

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

"As the architects note, you are at your most relaxed when you are wasting time, but not wasting; instead enjoying walking to classrooms through a ‘floating forest’ with plug-in buildings and amenities, all with views of nature," Finch continued. 

"Simple materials are deployed for a combination of the innovative and the everyday. There are elements in this project that could be used for schools anywhere," he added.

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

The winner was selected by a super jury of luminaries of the global architecture industry – comprising Sir Peter Cook, Cook Belacevic Haffner; Guallart, Guallart Architects; Richard Hassell, WOHA and Albert Williamson-Taylor, AKT II.

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

General floor plan

Huizhen High School in China wins World Building Of The Year Award For 2023

Elevation and section

Next year, the World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will take place once again at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, on 6 – 8 November 2024.

WAF is where the world architecture community meets to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired. WAF is the world’s largest annual, international, live architectural event. It includes the biggest international architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries. 

All images © Huizhen High School by Approach Design Studio - Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group Co.,Ltd. Image courtesy of WAF 2023.

All drawings © Huizhen High School by Approach Design Studio - Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group Co.,Ltd. Image courtesy of WAF 2023.

> via WAF 

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