Graebner and Hansen Design Middle School in Hefei, China for 2,400 students

Graebner and Hansen Design Middle School in Hefei, China for 2,400 students

Assistant Professor Lars Graebner and Taubman Lecturer Christina Hansen were recently featured in ArchDaily for their Hefei No. 45 Middle School, designed to accommodate 2,400 students in the city of Hefei within the Anhui Province of China. 

Situated in a northern urban extension of the city, the school takes up an entire block. The design is to help education be seen as an empowering process of development over a range of topics. With the structure of the school, students no longer learn in the classrooms alone, but utilize the communal areas as well. Space is provided for activities and movement between the core program areas to break the rigidity of the educational environment, commonly seen in traditional school buildings in China.The design places equal importance on the structured teaching within the classroom and the organic learning in the schoolyard to provide a balanced educational experience. 

The school contains a yard nearly the same size as the buildings, large common areas, and sports fields. The newly built structure, including classrooms, faculty offices, and study lounges, is designed in linear bars raised on columns, creating a strong relationship between buildings and landscape as the accessible roof areas slip between the classrooms above and the common program areas below. The result is a landscape that not only provides the necessary outdoor area for the number of students, but also encourages inventive play and creates opportunities for outdoor activities that are directly and indirectly related to the learning and teaching process of the school. 

To read more coverage of the new school design, visit: