Concordia International School Shanghai: Elementary School and Performing Arts Center
Designed by architecture and design firm Perkins Eastman, the two facilities create a fully self-contained campus, enhance teaching, foster creativity and stimulate artistic exploration through improved interaction.
Concordia International School Shanghai, (CISS) had outgrown its original facilities and chose Perkins Eastman to implement a series of phased expansions to their property creating a fully self-contained campus that enhances the learning experience for its students and faculty with unparalleled learning environments consistent with the quality of education for which CISS is known.
Perkins Eastman understands that students learn in an environment that respects who they are—physically, emotional and creatively—while meeting their individual learning needs; no easy accomplishment considering CISS accommodates a growing student body comprising more than 30 different nationalities each year.
The new 64,400 sf (6,000 sm) elementary school creates a new focal point within Concordia’s campus. The interior design of the elementary school encourages interaction among students and faculty through 30 paired classrooms while respecting the unique needs of the diverse student body with properly scaled, playful, and creative spaces.
The naturally day-lit interior also includes two music rooms, two discovery/science rooms, a cafeteria, a motor skills room, and additional school-related support areas.
Emphasis was placed on the creation of both indoor and outdoor spaces where students and faculty can gather informally and develop a sense of community on the campus.
CISS understands the prominent and central role the arts play in a competitive international school education. To support a curriculum including studies in 2D/ 3D graphics, photography, music, performing and fine arts, the new 2,250 sm (24,000 sf) David F. Rittmann Fine Arts Center incorporates spatial and technological flexibility, and superior interior acoustics that enable simultaneous activities to occur without interference or disruption from one to another.
Programmed and designed as the school’s center of creativity and enrichment, the facility incorporates both presentation and learning environments including a 400-seat courtyard theater and black box performing space that can be reconfigured as a recital hall, a proscenium theater, or a lecture hall. Sited at the corner of the campus property, the pavilion activates fellow adjacent buildings as a social node and provocative “front door” to the outside world.
Located on opposite axes of the campus, the elementary school and fine arts center serve as “bookends” that frame a campus that stimulates interaction between students and teachers and encourages each student's creative, nurtured progression from elementary to middle to high school, while fostering the academic and social connections for the entire campus community.
Perkins Eastman was recently awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Westchester/Mid-Hudson Chapter’s 2008 Design Award for their contributions of the CISS campus.