Perkins Eastman’s latest project on the Concordia International School Shanghai campus is a new 12,500 sm (129,200 sf) high school. It is the newest addition to the school’s multi-building education campus. Completed through a joint effort of the firm’s New York and Shanghai offices, this is the fourth phase of a series of planning and design projects completed for the school. The 10-acre campus also includes an elementary school and performing arts center, also designed by Perkins Eastman. As the culmination of a 10-year, multi-phased expansion of the world-class education campus, the high school is a fitting architectural expression of the evolution of design, learning, and sustainability. It is what a 21st century school is supposed to be.
The new high school comprises a variety of academic, athletic, and administrative functions in a fully integrated six-story complex. It includes 20 classrooms, four science classrooms, a world language lab, and a number of seminar/group instruction rooms of varying sizes. A media commons ‘bridge’ connects the new facility with the original shared facilities pavilion. It also includes a 10,800 sf (1,000 sm) gymnasium containing two full-sized basketball courts, a weight room, a dance studio, and a unique physical education interactive space, and an outdoor climbing wall.
The new building is an example of Concordia’s emboldened commitment to ‘green leadership.’ CISS viewed the design and construction of their new high school as an opportunity to redesign the entire campus’ heating and cooling system by using highly efficient geothermal technology. The school expects a 25-30 percent savings on energy costs.
The overall demand on heating and cooling is also reduced through the incorporation of green roofs over 40% of the newly constructed roof surface. The largest portion of the green roof is landscaped over light monitors located above the gymnasium/events space. This habitable garden, which uses soil made from recycled crushed bricks, is located with direct access from the adjacent science suite for cross-curricular experiments and the incorporation of ongoing field studies conducted by students on weather and air quality—making it an important part of curriculum. Other environmentally responsible features and materials include daylighting, natural ventilation, and materials including bamboo and natural rubber flooring.