The Chinese International School (CIS) is an independent dual-language school on Hong Kong Island. The extension project involved upgrading the facilities of the entire campus – developing a collaborative learning centre and two indoor multi-purpose sports centres for around 700 students, expanding the existing cafeteria, and re-designing the staff rooms.
RLP developed a brand-new 11-storey building on the site of the existing secondary gym to house the sports centres, two storeys of laboratories, one storey of design studios, two storeys of administrative offices and a number of classrooms. A core design concept was to create transparent event spaces, where events could be viewed from different levels through windows and voids, enhancing the generation and facilitating of spontaneous, collaborative learning.
The revitalised campus is also highly sustainable, providing numerous ways that students and teachers can commune with nature – studying and working in green spaces to benefit their physical and mental health.
The interior design focused on creating multi-functional uses, providing retractable seating and AV equipment, while timber acoustic panels were the main design element, creating a formal yet naturalistic feeling for the flexible spaces. Glass walls in the upper sports hall invite audience to join sports events from the corridor above.
A new atrium connecting to the existing campus creates a ‘glass lantern’ effect, promoting visual communication between students inside and outside the rooms. Glass walls are also used in all classrooms, laboratories and design studios to break through traditional isolated teaching spaces. The whole atrium space is covered by an extensive skylight, welcoming the sky, sunlight and wind into space while providing shelter from rains.
The theme of the façade is a “transparent bookcase” – stylised to be a modernised traditional Chinese bookcase. A modernised moon gate at the entrance echoes the original moon gate, an icon of the school, linking the old with the new.