Broadstone Academy, Shenzhen

Super size, super modern, super school

In early 2019, Walters & Cohen was invited to design Broadstone Academy, a new school in Nanshan, Shenzhen.

The school is located on a large site in the Chiwan Bay area. The site slopes by almost two floors, which we used to create a public ‘podium’ level. Spaces regularly accessed by parents and visitors are here, such as the parents’ café, canteens for staff and students, and an 850-seat auditorium. Above podium level is the rest of the school and boarding accommodation; below is the main student entrance, sports facilities, and parking.

The Academy is a beautiful and complex city within a city. The sheer scale of the building, in particular the internal double and triple volume spaces, creates a sense of excitement at new possibilities. Maker spaces are integral to the design as transformational and aspirational spaces in which to investigate real-life problems and design, make and develop prototypes as solutions. Writable glass boards, reconfigurable desks with write-on/wipe-off surfaces and adjustable seating all create an active and collaborative teaching environment throughout the school.

There is also a reflection space for learners to unplug and find the time and space to process their thoughts and experiences during their busy school day. Outdoor spaces are varied and fun, comprising a sky garden, running track, gym, table tennis and tennis courts, allotment gardens and quiet reading areas.

The openness of the building and the way it is positioned on the site celebrates the beautiful long views of the bay and surrounding hills. We have aimed to create a school that feels international yet at the same time is proudly Chinese.


ClientBroadstone Academy

Area96,715 m2

Local architectCCDI

Structural engineerCCDI

Interior designChina Construction Shenzhen Decoration


CGIs and filmStudio Archetype