PAO constructs new school in only 3 days

By Leigh Manning
In just 3 days, PAO constructs modular pop-up school in Shenzhen: 'plugin learning blox' People’s Architecture Office introduces the ‘plugin learni...

In just 3 days, PAO constructs modular pop-up school in Shenzhen: 'plugin learning blox'

People’s Architecture Office introduces the ‘plugin learning blox’ to alleviate the high demand for educational space in china’s rapidly growing city of Shenzhen. It also responds to the need for classrooms to support innovative learning as china transitions to a post-industrial economy. 


The project is a pop-up school that can be rapidly deployed and easily adapted to current and future education models. Advances in education call for greater emphasis on self-directed learning, social connection, and systematic problem-solving. Interdisciplinary project-based learning is becoming a crucial methodology for young people.

Designed by People’s Architecture Office, ‘plugin learning blox’ is organized as a collection of classrooms clustered in project groups around a common area. Educational activities are held in the central public space where the community is invited to participate. The project classrooms serve as secondary, breakaway spaces for smaller groups and individual learning. The design team worked with the china construction science & technology company, making use of its prefabricated building system. 


This same flat-pack modular system was used in the construction of a hospital in Wuhan which was completed in only ten days. While all the components were prefabricated in a factory, onsite construction took three days. The building can easily be disassembled, relocated, and reused.

The project was designed and presented as part of the pop-up campus organized by the future plus academy for the 2019 Shenzhen-Hong Kong bi-city biennale of architecture\urbanism. As part of the exhibition, PAO’s plugin learning lofts occupied the central common area to support educational activities. The project is a prototype designed to explore space as a third teaching dimension in early age education. 


The ‘plugin learning loft’ consists of a basic spatial structure with interchangeable infill elements that support learning through play. Nearby, cross boundaries present a similar pop-up school, INFINITY 6, for the 2019 Shenzhen-Hong Kong Biennale.


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