A Donated Reading Room at Shenwan Teaching School

© Chuanchen Li(SLOW Architects)
© Chuanchen Li(SLOW Architects)

SLOW Architects designed this addition to a teaching school located in the mountain area of Enshi City, Hubei province — at the intersection of three counties — thanks to multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) donations of funds and materials (as funding for new hardwood was difficult to obtain). The teaching school is the only one close enough to the students who live in this area, as they live far away from any of the central school of the three counties, so the school is of REAL NEED.

© Chuanchen Li(SLOW Architects)
© Chuanchen Li(SLOW Architects)

Mr. Xu Zhigang started the endowment in order to erect a reading room for the teaching school and SLOW undertook the role for design and materials as it was too difficult to find contractor to go into the mountainous region, with construction coordinated and performed by close friends and colleagues. Due to site conditions, the wooden structure has most of its components prefabricated in an urban area of Enshi City, then assembled rapidly on the mountain site.

Diagram 1

In the end, the entire structure comes to about 270 square feet — including the grey space.  The small building’s interior has steps of varied heights, and its overall design aims to create a rich and spacial experience to provoke the children’s imaginations. The reading room’s eaves that face the playground is designed lower than usual, with a corridor connecting the classroom and the playground set along the road side’s gable wall.

© Chuanchen Li(SLOW Architects)
© Chuanchen Li(SLOW Architects

Floor Plan

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