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Bridge school
Xiashi Village, China
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School that connects two villiage communities together.

image: Li Xiaodong atelier | © all rights reserved
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Category:
education
Phase:
in use
Design:
Li Xiaodong atelier
Updated:
30 September 2013
introduction

The “Bridge School” bridges the two parts of the small village of Xiashi that lie on either side of a small creek. 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.

the bridge school

image: Lan Tianyi | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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the southern end of the bridge school

image: Lixiaodong atelier | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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cultural and social context

When architect Li Xiadong was asked to build a tiny school for a small village crossed by a river, he had the inspiration of placing it on a new bridge, near the spot where two ancient toulou - traditional fortress-like, circular structures - were erected on either side of the river.

The public stage for performances

image: Lixiaodong atelier | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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materials and building techniques

The school is constructed out of two large steel spans that cross the bridge and smaller steel supports and framing. Local materials and wood were used to create the facade, interior furnishings and school furniture. While the steel is very modern, especially in the context of a rural village, the material will last a long time while creating a structurally-sound school. The use of wood helps the building blend texturally and aesthetically with the rest of the village. Suspended from the structure and running below it is a pedestrian bridge for the people of the village to use. Small and modern in design, with no reference to the area’s traditional building style, the school has nonetheless become the physical and spiritual centre of what was a declining village.

earth and climate

Fujian has a subtropical humid monsoon climate, with annual temperature averaging between 17-21 °C. Even in the mountains, winters are warm, with January temperatures in coastal regions averaging 7-10 °C and averaging 6-8 °C in higher elevations. Summers see high temperatures and occasional typhoons off the Pacific. Average annual precipitation is 1400-2000 mm.

 

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image gallery
the bridge school

image: © all rights reserved
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a slide is integrated in the entry stairs

image: Li Xanodong | © all rights reserved
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a bridge over a creek between two castles

image: Li Xiaodong | © all rights reserved
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the corridor to the middle to classroom

image: Li Xiaodong | © all rights reserved
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the corridor

image: Li Xiaodong | © all rights reserved
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the classroom

image: Li Xiaodong | © all rights reserved
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a narrow walkway is suspended underneath the school

image: Li Xiaodong | © all rights reserved
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the new and old material

image: Li Xiaodong | © all rights reserved
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technical drawings
siteplan

image: © all rights reserved
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Section/elevations

image: Li Xiaodong | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Location
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