Denmark-based Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects and Hong Kong-based Thomas Chow architects have been selected to design the new Island School in Hong Kong, China.

English Schools Foundation started the design competition to build a 28,000m² building with facilities to support optimal learning conditions for about 1,200 students, aged from 11 to 18.

The new building will be on the site of an existing school that was built in 1967, which has a visual connection with the green mountain landscape, Hong Kong city skyline and the waterfront.

The building concept was to design and organise a sustainable learning landscape with balconies and green gardens.

The building’s internal functions were organised around a learning plaza that runs through the main arrival level of the school and connects to the atrium.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects founding partner Bjarne Hammer said the atrium is the heart of the school.

"With its balconies, hanging greenery and gardens, it functions as an informal social gathering space where the students can meet and interact," Hammer said.

Inside the building, the atrium offers good conditions that minimise the use of artificial light, while the gardens and the greenery will help to cool the building, creating a comfortable indoor climate.

The architects included plans for flexible learning spaces, to support various learning situations. Rooms can be divided into smaller spaces or opened up, to make best use of the space and to connect with other parts of the school.

The school’s concept design is expected to appeal to the local community, as it includes sports and cultural facilities that can be used by the public outside the normal opening hours of the school.

Image: Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects and Thomas Chow architects will design Island School in Hong Kong. Photo: courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects.