The Circle, located in Hefi, China, is the first international school in the Hefei Airport New Area. It includes a kindergarten, primary school, and middle school, all spread across a building area of 40,000 square meters, including 90 classes. The design was inspired by the circular site and the beautiful park and lake view on the west side. The designers aimed to create a fluid space experience that wouldn't block the sight of the surrounding beauty.
What sets The Circle apart from other school designs is its innovative layout. The building opens to the park in an embracing gesture, making all kinds of school life revolve around the central dynamic space. This design integrates the eastern philosophy of equality into architectural form and living conditions. The school consists of two parts: the kindergarten is a separate building, while the middle school and primary school are in one building, surrounding the playground. The classrooms are close to the school gate, and the dormitories are at the quiet far end.
The Circle was realized through a highly modular design that enhances its prefabrication rate. Despite the building's circular shape and many curves, the types of modules have been greatly reduced, saving energy consumption, construction time, and avoiding environmental pollution. The design team faced challenges such as the standard field of the 400-meter track conflicting with the insufficient land area. However, they overcame this by placing the sports field in the center and letting the building surround it, ensuring every room has a good view and faces the park.
The design of The Circle started in May 2022 and was awarded the Golden A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award in 2023. The Golden A' Design Award is granted to marvelous, outstanding, and trendsetting creations that reflect the designer's prodigy and wisdom. They are venerated products and bright ideas that advance art, science, design, and technology, embodying extraordinary excellence and significantly impacting the world with their desirable characteristics.
The Circle is a testament to the innovative thinking of Coast Palisade Consulting Group Ltd. and their ability to transform traditional spaces into dynamic, fluid environments that enhance the educational experience. This design is not only a significant contribution to architecture but also a revolutionary step in the evolution of school design.
Project Designers: Huang Fan
Image Credits: Huang Fan
Project Team Members: Huang fan Sun yongsong Chen fangming Liang qiwei Li wei Zhu yuling Qi yuzhou Jiang dejiang
Project Name: Circle
Project Client: Huang Fan