Shenzhen Qianhai Education Complex

Shenzhen, China

The Shenzhen Qianhai Education Complex is part of the Shenzhen Metro Qianhai Depot Project, located in the newly developing Guiwan area of Qianhai. An existing metro depot structure had been built with loading provision based on the previous masterplanning. The project brief is to re-design the depot development including a 3,600sqm kindergarten, a 21,000sqm primary cum secondary school and a 300m sports field within the existing structural constraints, to form an education complex to meet the needs of the forthcoming population in the surrounding area.

The design approach is to form a seamless connection between surrounding development and the four independent programs. The four interdependent programs are combined to economize means and to maximize the potential for “sharing”. The kindergarten and sports field spectator stands are integrated under a “one roof” feature on +16m, whereby an elevated link bridge connects the sports field to the +16m lobby of the primary cum secondary school. Articulated in section to afford multileveled green platforms, the school connects seamlessly to its entrance plaza on ±0m.

The development is surrounded by residential plots on depot to the east and on-grade residential development to the west. Large landscaped area and a fund town locate to the north and a commercial district including offices, retail, hotel, serviced apartment locates further north. As the site sits between elevated depot area and an on-grade site, one of the main challenges of the project is to mitigate the city edge created by the gigantic train depot development, so as to seamlessly connect the site with its surrounding environment to direct circulation.

This education complex consists of the programs of a 12-class kindergarten and 48-class primary cum secondary school. Underneath the cascading green platforms from 0m are the sports hall, canteen and auditorium. Above, blocks of standard classrooms and labs line on the 3 sides of the perimeters, forming a courtyard where shared spaces for art/ music/ multimedia/ library as a series of “boxes” and “open spaces” are located. Connected by a landscaped link bridge towards +16m, a 300m sports field, activity rooms and amenity quarters are integrated by a “one roof” feature.

With the recent trend in education which encourages interaction, innovation and creativeness – the essence of education and China’s Future School – the design approach is more than a place of learning where knowledge is exchanged. Generous common spaces such as double volume reception lobby, gallery and outdoor green platforms are integrated into teaching and administration blocks. These serve as excellent platforms to enhance communication between school, children and their families, hence help to develop children’s unique values and encourage involvement.

Sustainability considerations were plentifully implemented in building facades, use of materials, planting and open space planning. The design theme also focuses on a ‘green learning environment closer to nature’. The extensive featured green roof serves not only as a shelter for buildings, spectator stand and activity zones underneath, it also becomes part of the Central Park landscape for the enjoyment of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Featured green roof system, undulated from the ground to shelter the main building block, contributes not only open green to the surrounding public, but also forms the edge of the L1 garden and L3 covered playground of the kindergarten.

Series of green platforms, open gallery and outdoor decks are integrated to provide more intimate scale of green pocket spaces into the campus areas. Interior spatial quality is also improved with better day-lighting provision and natural ventilation. The campus is equipped with energy-efficient appliances and water-saving fittings. Adequate soil depths are allowed for the roof of the building for landscaping. The landscape design for the overall development allocates at least 35% green area with a selection of indigenous vegetation, and the drainage system of green areas are integrated with rainwater storage provisions to control rainwater runoff. Recycled rainwater is used for landscape irrigation and supplement for landscape water-bodies.

The education complex in many aspects conveys an interactive and environmentally friendly atmosphere, which adds up to an ideal environment for the childhood development.

Our Services

Design Architect

Project Size

Site Area: 259,504sqm

Date of Completion



Shenzhen Metro Group Co. Ltd.


2021 International Property Awards (Asia Pacific) Award Winner – Public Service Architecture China
2021 Rethinking The Future Awards Third Award – Institutional (Built)
2020 HKIA Annual Awards Outside Hong Kong (Community Building) – Finalist
2019 World Architecture Festival Award (Education Future Projects Category) Shortlisted Project