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Works starts on Broadway Malyan’s Chinese outpost for Westminster School

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Construction work has begun in China on a 133,119m² Broadway Malyan-designed campus for Westminster School

The scheme in Chengdu, which the practice said had been inspired by the public school’s existing home in the precincts of the 10th century Westminster Abbey, London, is Broadway Malyan’s 16th independent school project in Asia. Others include Dulwich College in Shanghai and King’s College School in Nanwei.

Chengdu Westminster School will be an ’all-through boarding school’ for more than 2,000 students from kindergarten to age 18 and will have a special focus on music and drama.

The project features a major ‘West End’ standard 1,000 seat auditorium, a black-box theatre with retractable seating for 300, various exhibition halls and 70 music practice rooms ’distributed between the teaching and boarding blocks’.

Ben Somner, who led the design for Broadway Malyan, said the new school ‘reflected the latest trends in pedagogical design while referencing the historic context of the British school’.

He said: ‘International schools of this nature have been an emerging typology in recent years and we have worked closely with Westminster School to design a school that mirrors its educational ethos and values within a world-class learning environment.

‘Some of the great icons of London form the backdrop for Westminster School and our design approach makes reference to this context and the school’s British heritage without becoming pastiche, instead creating a new vernacular that marries these influences with the demands of the Chinese international school sector.’

Work is expected to be completed in Autumn 2020.

Chengdu westminster education shanghai 29

Chengdu westminster education shanghai 29

Architect’s view

The orientation of the three major arts buildings and the dining hall form to create Little Dean’s Yard, a courtyard at the heart of the campus that references the quad at the Westminster School of the same name, while providing a central focal point for school activity.

Entry to the campus is through a large arrival plaza in front of the theatre on the western edge of the site and the theatre, pavilions, dining hall and sports hall form a west to east spine across the campus, loosely inspired in their orientation and architectural typology by Westminster Abbey.

These four stone-clad buildings have been inspired by the generous volumes and vertical proportions of the Abbey, using the same language of monolithic stone elements with large stone ribs and pillars that reference the buttresses of the 10th century building.

The boarding houses on the eastern edge of the campus have been designed with the pupil’s wellbeing in mind, with each being broken down into a series of ‘family’ groups with each house having its own front door leading to a shared ground floor with kitchen, gym, study room and lounge and all leading to a courtyard to create an active social hub.

The teaching buildings are largely red brick with pitched roofs and dynamic brick and glazed gable walls, referencing Victorian school houses, and are orientated as a series of long, linear blocks but defined by their own formal colonnaded courtyards.

These buildings will be linked by a learning resource spine over two stories that runs along the north-south axis of the campus and is the glue that binds the different teaching and learning zones together.

Chengdu westminster education shanghai 21

Chengdu westminster education shanghai 21

Project data

Location Chengdu, China
Type of project Education
Client Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology Group
Architect Broadway Malyan
Structural engineer SADI
M&E SADI
Start on site April, 2019
CompletionAugust 2020
Contract duration 15 months
Gross internal floor area 133,119m²
Total cost Undisclosed

Chengdu westminster education shanghai 15

Chengdu westminster education shanghai 15

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