The French International School is an elementary school in Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong. The school’s larger purpose is to act as a centre for French culture in Tseung Kwan and Hong Kong as a whole. Therefore, the school also opens up in the evening and weekends for cultural activities, such as French May, French Cinematheque and exhibitions.
The school is divided into two halves; one bar for the Primary School and another for the Middle School. The two school halves are centered around three playgrounds; the main playground, which twice a day turns into a parking lot for 40 school buses, a large covered playground, which enjoys a 6m lofty free height and a green roof, which serves as a support for a range of ecological devices.
The design of the Primary School offers a new approach to teaching. In the flexible open plan Villa layout, students of each year share the common space sense of community. The Villas offer a wide range of possibilities to teach and learn in new ways. Classrooms can merge easily to create larger units with two teachers and extend seamlessly into a shared space (the Agora), where children can gather or learn differently than in classrooms. The Villas also extend outdoors on every floor to large shared terraces and classroom sized hanging gardens.
With its adaptable and flexible layouts, its wealth of differently scaled spaces catering for future learning behaviors and interactive gardens and building technologies, the school is a teaching platform in itself.
Another important characteristic of the school is the colors; a lasting memory in the hearts of the pupils. A consistent color scheme is carefully applied to different surfaces dependent on the opportunities of each space. Coloring the asphalt of the playground or painting edges of walls is a cost effective way to add an identity to the project.
The main identity of FIS TKO is however concentrated in the façade, consisting of 1050 colored ceramic sun breakers, each colored by one of the FIS students. The façade will therefore become a solid symbol of the diversity within the school and the involvement of each student coloring its future. Technically speaking the design of the façade diffuses light softly into the upper limits of the gymnasium and minimizes heat gains.
The school is expected to be completed by September 2018.