Beijing, China, 2015
The Garden School (Beijing No.4 High School), designed by OPEN Architecture, was designed as a counter-reaction to the current realities of China’s building boom. Founding partner, Li Hu, says, “What is problematic is that these new towns are designed too fast, without much thinking about how the spaces are going to be used, and what kind of space they are going to create. I think it is a problem for human psychology. Living in a new town with not enough good green space, good social space, we’ll become very problematic urban animals.”
Inspired by how Confucius taught his philosophies under the trees, the Garden School brings nature and public space, the two major themes working inside OPEN Architecture, to the forefront of the design. And this film series introduces viewers to this dynamic space; how students interact with each other and with the school. And perhaps most important is that it shares how students are no longer studying inside conventional and rigid classrooms; here, the teaching goes out into the nature and under the trees of the campus.