The Hualin Temporary Elementary School in the Chinese city of Chengdu replaces the old building that was torn down by the Sichuan earthquake of May 2008. The structure, made of paper tubes, was assembled by thirty architecture students of Keio University in Japan and fifty students from Southwest Jiaotong University in China. Aside from rehousing 800 students who had been transferred to other schools, the project was an educational experience for university students of both countries.
The design and construction had to be completed in a period of two months, so it was convenient to reduce the number and variety of components and to use locally sourced materials. Over the foundations of the old school rest the paper tubes tied together by timber joints. The beams that form the pitched roof are rounded off with metallic stretchers spanning six meters. A series of circles cut out of the plywood panels bring top light in through the translucid roof of corrugated polycarbonate. The three school buildings of 6 x 30 meters are placed parallel to one another on the site, and the spaces between them are occupied by playgrounds sheltered by a small porch.
The Education Department of Chenghua District in Chengdu City, Rebirth of Environment
Keio University Shigeru Ban + Hironori Matsubara Laboratory: Shigeru Ban, Hironori Matsubara, Yasunori Harano
Structural Engineer: Minoru Tezuka; Construction: Keio University Shigeru Ban + Hironori Matsubara Laboratory, Southwest Jiaotong University (China), The Education Department of Chenghua District in Chengdu City (China)