The firm headed by Li Hu and Huang Wenjing, Open Architecture, working from offices in New York and Beijing, has designed a campus for the Qingpu Pinghe International School in Shanghai, which has students aged 4 through 18. One of the buildings, the Pinghe Bibliotheater – with its rectangular floor plan and curved corners, and known as ‘the blue whale,’ contains theaters, the library, and a cafeteria.
The uses are laid out in accordance with need for natural light and acoustic insulation. Hence the auditoriums are on ground level and the library’s main reading room is on the top floor, where the sloping roof is perforated with circular skylights and a roof garden crowns the building. El Pinghe Bibliotheater is designed for the local community to use after school hours.