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The Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture Awards, sponspored by Ramboll and Austin-Smith:Lord, celebrates the best pieces of design by young architects from across the world. This year, one of the four principal winners is Li Xiaodong Atelier’s project for a school in a remote village in the Fujian Province of China
The lightweight structure spans a creek in a single bound, and resembles the archetype of the inhabited bridge.
Supported on concrete piers, the simple steel structure acts like a giant box girder that has been slightly dislocated. The steel frame is wrapped in a veil of thin timber slats which filter light and temper the interior with cool breezes.
Inside are a pair of wedge-shaped classrooms tapering towards the mid-point of the structure. The school can be transformed into an impromtu theatre or play structure, and Li Xiaodong hopes the building will become a social centre for the village.
Although it is possible to use the building as a bridge, a narrow crossing suspended underneath the steel structure and anchored by tensile wires offers an alternative and more direct route.
Architects Li Xiaodong Atelier
Location Xiashi, Fujian Province, China
Type of project School
Project architects Chen Jiansheng, Li Ye, Wang Chuan, Liang Qiong, Liu Mengjia, Nie Junqui
Building contractors Zhangzhou Steel, Xiashi village
Photography credits Li Xiaodong