2012 Kaohsiung
Competition-First Prize

Kaohsiung American School

First LEED SCHOOL in Taiwan

Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Project team: 張瑪龍+陳玉霖(Architects) 陳家宇+劉禹伶+鄭妙玲+鄧少禹(SD+DD+CD) 李偉誠+黃盈璋+羅偉倫+陳家宇(CA)
Structural engineer: 王儷燕結構技師事務所 (Li-Yen Wang Structural Engineers Associates)
Project year: 2012-2015
Constructed Area:
Photographer: Shawn Liu Studio

An international school strives to nurture its students to become world citizens through a community of teachers and classmates of various nationalities as well as diverse educational methods. The Kaohsiung American School (KAS), as such an entity, has thrived for more than twenty-five years by attracting talented teachers and students alike even though it has negotiated with limited physical presence because of relocations and use of older facilities. By leasing the former Victory Elementary Public School site from the Kaohsiung City government, KAS finally has a permanent home at the current site not far from the Lotus Pond, a famed tourist attraction. The new school built on this site is well thought out and curriculum based to better meet the needs of all students.

“The sequential spatial flow” reflects the spatial quality befitting the KAS educational precept by clearly delineating the building circulation that is both flexible and highly navigable. This quality enables the school occupants to access the available resources with ease while the permeable spatial borders encourage cross-pollination of various learning disciplines through integration and visual collaboration. Double quads and cohabitation of architectural volumes are combined to mold such spatial quality into a flow of spaces that are both enclosed and open as well as flexible.

We view building circulation as an extension of continual educational spaces. Scaled up stairs become gathering spaces for classes, corridors with frequent insertion of long oak benches create pocket meeting spaces for pause and exchange, hallways terminate at raised-height spaces produce opportunities for invitation as well as participation of activities down below, and few widened isles with recessed projectors and screens enable future teaching activities with limitless possibilities.

Quadrangle is a spatial typology often used in American higher education since the 19th century. In Taiwanese vernacular architecture, “quad” is where a clan dwells. We unite the two cultural manifestations into one, where the traditional veranda of the Taiwanese vernacular can embody the grandeur of loggia, prevalent in the American university settings. The quad typology not only connects both cultures with inherited social references, but its semi-open corridors also avoid the energy intensiveness and the opaqueness of a totally enclosed building so that teachers as well as students are always in touch with the sun, wind and light of the surrounding natural environment. The elementary school quad oriented toward the west surrounds a grassy yard, anchored by a group of preserved trees while the middle school/high school quad surrounds a large wood platform.

Uniting the two quads is the Learning Hub, a conglomerate of public core spaces including the exhibition hall, media center, the library, and the roof terrace. It is at the center of the school connected by the semi-open corridors, which generate a double-ringed circulation similar to the configuration of the infinity symbol. Thus, the Learning Hub can be accessed from all sides. Students can walk into the 1st floor exhibition hall through the corridors or access the roof terrace from the semi-open space in front of the 3rd floor library. Students coming back from the soccer field can walk up the grand stairway and pass through the media center before heading to classrooms. This arrangement enables the Learning Hub to be the influx of information as well as the influx of movement.

The shoe box shaped auditorium can seat 400 people. When students need to rehearse, a large sliding door can be used to extend the back stage area to include the adjacent music classrooms. This also allows music classrooms to become auxiliary backstage spaces to support larger productions. The sound-absorbing curtains are recessed behind acoustic wood panels on both sides of the auditorium. For theater productions and lectures, these curtains can be closed to absorb sounds in order to provide clarity of the sound broadcasting from the stage. For concerts, these curtains can be opened to increase reverberation time in order to generate good sound quality.

Layered architectural façade engages the urban surrounding. Glass curtain walls and windows are alternated with white stucco exteriors, fine scrims made of aluminum extrusion, staggered and rhythmic stone panels and exterior wood panels to modulate light and the heat from the sun, generating changing shades and shadows that add visual depth and beauty with a hint of playfulness to the urban landscape.

The Kaohsiung American School receives Silver rating from the LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction certification program.


與高雄美國學校的教育理念相符的校園空間,本質上是“流動的空間序列”:高度流動與可變動的建築動線規劃,讓師生可以儘可能容易地接觸取用各種教育資源; 穿透性的空間邊界除鼓勵各學科的跨界整合之外,也讓教學成果隨時呈現。為了讓這個概念成型,我們將兩個合院與數個盒狀的建築體並置,做到空間洄游,室內外融合,與可變動空間的效果。我們視建築的動線為一連續的教育空間:樓梯的尺度放大,成為班級的集會處;走廊兩側隨處增設附掛橡木長凳的口袋空間,鼓勵小群體的停留交談;穿越挑高門廳的走道,邀請路過者參與下方的活動;幾處過寬的走廊,加上隱藏的投影機與螢幕,引導未來富想像力的教學活動。

將兩個合院連結起來的是Learning Hub,為結合展覽廳、多媒體中心與圖書館的複合式校園核心設施。其與合院走廊相接,構成整棟建築8字形的雙環狀動線,從任何一個方向都能途經此地。學生會從戶外的合院涼廊走進展覽廳,或者由半戶外的圖書館前廳,走上斜坡來到露天的屋頂花園。即使從運動場回來的學生,也須經由大階梯「經過」二樓的多媒體中心,才能進入各自的教室。Learning Hub原本就是資訊輻輳之地,經過這樣的安排,具象化為人潮之輻輳。



本校已取得美國綠建築認證 LEED School Silver。