Chinese Boarding School Named World Building of the Year

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A pitoral view of the 2023 Building of the Year under schools category Credit CNN

The most coveted Building of the Year title for 2023 went to Huizhen High School in Ningbo, Zhejiang province in eastern China at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore.

The winning building boasts a spacious and aesthetically pleasing library, rooftop park, treehouses, and hoisted walkways.

Designed by Approach Design Studio and the Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group, the high school features open-air lecture halls. This the architects believe will stimulate the environment for the free and good thinking required of high-performing students.

Approach Design Studio battled with over 250 architects to gain this prestigious award in the world of architecture. The Huizhen High School building was selected from projects like Australia’s Holocaust Museum, fresh national stadiums in Cambodia and Senegal, and the recently opened Terminal A of Newark Liberty International Airport and eventually took the top spot in the school category.

WAF’s programme director Paul Finch, while he was presenting the award to the winners described the Huizhen High School building as being different from other school models.

“The architects managed to create a school which is very different than the usual model, where students are boxed in and put under teaching — as well as architectural — pressure,” Finch told attendees. “By contrast, this design encourages walking, fresh air, and the possibility of relief from academic intensity.”

The World Architecture Festival is observed annually as one of the most eminent recognitions an architect could dream of. It is spearheaded by a 140-strong expert panel.

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