Music and architecture have commonalities, and the design explores this commonality. Based on Dmitri Tymoczko's creative proposal in The Geometry of Music that the underlying logic of music can be interpreted through the geometric connection of vector points in space, the design selected a series of geometric figures close to music as motif elements to meet the requirements of primary and secondary education.It meets the detailed and strict functional requirements of primary and secondary education while dialogues with the beautiful environment of the site, trying to break the boundaries of architecture, nature and music education.
The Yehudi Menuhin School Qingdao is located in the middle section of Tangdao Bay Coastal Park on the west coast of Qingdao, facing the core urban area of the west coast across the shore. It is an important cultural, artistic, and educational architecture in the city. The base is located in Tangdao Bay Coastal Park, with the continuous coastline and towering ridges outlining the background of the city. As a national wetland park, the peninsula surrounded by the sea on three sides extends into the sea like an arm bend, and the surrounding area is surrounded by dense forest land. The natural ecological environment is superior, primitive and quiet. Across the bay lies the brightly lit city center of the West Coast New Area, with high-rise buildings extending along the natural bay's arc. The site with other buildings such as the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the West Sea Art Museum, is scattered along the long coastline, forming the focal point of the entire city's perspective.
The seemingly organic and scattered volume is actually the ultimate response to the external environment and internal functions. According to the requirements of separation dynamic-static separation and circulation, the functions are divided into three relatively independent groups, which are used for general classrooms, professional classrooms, and dormitory. The three groups breaking into small parts resolves the extreme irregular shape of the site.
Under the control of precise modulus, the school set up a campus plaza with complete shape and sufficient scale facing the city in the tense land use. On the north side of the square, a semi-enclosed space is formed by buildings and corridors. The south side of the square, which is open to the city, is a public activity center and ceremonial space where people gather, spaces meet, and functions interweave. The appropriate space between groups and the boundaries of the buildings reserve a view corridor for the central plaza, which leads to mountains and seas. It juxtaposes the magnificent mountains and seas in the distance, the noisy city, the dense forests on the shore, and the campus activities around you. Music, nature and the city meet in campus.
The solid hexagonal block gives architecture a sense of sculpture while having sufficient views of the sea and good lighting conditions, and it fits the irregular boundaries of the site. The moderate movement of the volumes allows the enclosed inner courtyard to connect with the city scenery.
Every building on the coastline needs to face the exceptionally humid climate during the rainy season every year and the continuous erosion of salt and alkali in the air. The exterior facade of the building did not use conventional school coatings or brick materials, but instead used cast-in-place concrete. This simple material have extremely strong weather resistance, while its strong plasticity also makes simple geometric shapes more pure, like reefs on the beach.
The facade units are all made of white cast-in-place concrete. The interior of the inclined facade volume is a hollow cavity. The facade uses concrete templates, while the interior side uses insulation materials as support templates. In the early stage, a 1:1 unit mock-up was carried out to control joints, holes, colors, and other aspects to make the presentation of the form more complete and unified.
Children are naturally lively and active, while music learning comes with repetitive and continuous practice. The simple natural scenery and rich internal space are the best companionship for users. The atrium and inner courtyard are the core internal spaces of hexagonal buildings, and all daily teaching activities revolve around them. The diverse forms of spaces provide platforms for students to engage in diverse activities, and active interaction between venues and users can trigger rich sensory experiences.
The internal public space of the music professional courses teaching building is divided into a combination of two small atriums and one inner courtyard. The three platforms are located at different heights, facing each other but not fully connected, providing students with a variety of spatial experiences. The platform is a stage where players can play at any time, a podium where everyone gathers, a wonderful exhibition space, and a pleasant communication space.
When the small stage in the high area is rehearsing, the teachers and students on the platform in the low area exhibition hall can only hear the sound without seeing anyone. They need to cross the grand staircase to reach the atrium in the middle area to discover the source of the sound. This process is like crossing a gap in a stone, providing an interesting process of exploration, encouraging students' precious curiosity and exploration desire.
The atrium of the general courses teaching building is a complete and towering hexagonal shape. Before entering, one needs to pass through a low and deep entrance, and the transformation of space gives a strong sense of openness. The grand staircase on the ground floor provides high-quality public space for teachers and students, making it a place for daily socializing and non-daily teaching. The rotating staircase connects each floor of the space and guides the visual continuously upwards. The top array of geometric skylights cuts natural light, enriching the expression of the space.
The dormitory is equipped with restaurants, gyms, activity rooms, and other functions around the sunken courtyard. The transparent glass on the ground floor enhances the openness of the entire space, providing students with a multifunctional activity space.
The corridor connects three functional groups, providing a shelter from wind and rain for all teachers and students in the school, and is also a space filled with public activities. The non-linear corridor, which widen or narrow at times, is indistinguishable from the main body of the building, creating an extremely interesting experience through interweaving, connecting, embedding, enclosing, scaling, and other methods. Like a landscape picker, it connects the hexagonal sunken courtyard under bright sunlight, the beautiful afterglow of the seaside park in the sight corridor, and the coffee shop with warm lights diffused along the floor glass.
The semi-underground multifunctional hall is equipped with high windows to introduce natural light. People on the roadside can discover indoor performances. The air rehearsal hall is equipped with low windows to introduce the outdoor scenery, and the scenery can be seen when looking up between performances. Rooms located in two different locations also need to meet strict acoustic requirements and provide a viewing area, with architecture and nature infiltrating each other.