Yanjiang Rural Village School

Yanjiang Village, Tongtian Town, Fengcheng City, Jiangxi, China

The Yanjiang Rural School is an investigation of an alternative building form for schools in rural villages in China. The new school block provides 13 classrooms for primary and kindergarten education with a library, accommodating 450 students from 5 surrounding villages.

The building form works with the existing conditions to create multiple courtyard spaces, which are adapted for agricultural education, encouraging children to return to sustain the future village. Design strategy emphasises integrity, using locally sourced materials, exposed structures, and drainage systems to reveal craftsmanship and ease maintenance. Passive environmental designs are incorporated to harness the natural context and reduce energy consumption. The project was remotely designed and constructed during COVID with a limited budget, construction techniques, and coordination constraints.

The design strategies include:

Respecting context: The building form creates multiple courtyards with the existing structure and trees. Using the site’s level differences to minimise excavation, covered playgrounds and library space are designed with ample headroom.

Passive environmental design: North-south classroom arrangements optimise sunlight and cross ventilation. Vault roofs help to divert rainwater to suit the local climate and increase area and volume to cool the upper classrooms in summer.

Expressed Structure: A simple grid system organises the building, with drainage pipes embedded along the columns, for aesthetic integration and ease of maintenance. The curved doorways soften the building for habitation and ease of fire escape. Locally sourced fair-faced brick walls preserve construction integrity by making craftsmanship visible.

Encouraging interactions: Corridor walls incorporated seatings. Open staircases and flat roofs facilitate access variations and interactions between levels, encouraging social exchange.

September 2019 – January 2022
Main Donor:
KPMG Foundation
Supporting Donors:
Fengcheng City Education and Sports Bureau
Supporting Organisations:
Site Area:
Maggie Ma, Mark Kingsley, Kelvin Chan, Stephanie Tung, Echo Xiang, Luka Ng, Gianfranco Galagar