The King's School Shenzhen International

The King's School: from Canterbury to China

In 2017 we were commissioned by The King’s School, Canterbury, to design The King’s School Shenzhen International. Located in Nanshan, China, the school offers pupils aged 2 to 18 a combined Chinese and British curriculum, with a greater emphasis on the latter as pupils progress through the school.

While The King’s School in Canterbury offers a twenty-first-century education in the UK’s oldest school, the new school at Nanshan is a contemporary response to that remarkable historic setting. We have drawn inspiration from the tradition of arranging academic accommodation around landscaped courtyards, and our design reflects the iconic green courts that define the Canterbury Cathedral precincts.

Our understanding of the local climate has informed how the buildings function and creates well-lit and ventilated learning environments. Education spaces have been rigorously tested to ensure they create a progressive learning environment that encourages creativity and a love of learning.

The first phase of the development will open in 2019 to provide a kindergarten and flats for teachers. The design of the pre-prep school encourages teachers to adopt new and creative approaches to the use of space. Classrooms are large and there are group rooms for breakout work, as well as a generous library and maker spaces. Teaching staff will be encouraged to use all these spaces on a daily basis, broadening the pupils’ learning experience beyond a traditional classroom.

The second phase follows in 2020 and provides a dynamic and exciting school with a generous green court at its centre. Some of the more unique teaching spaces include a flight simulator, robotics laboratory, black box theatre and meditation rooms. The main school library and sixth form centre open onto landscaped roof terraces for outdoor learning, socialising and sport. Visual and physical connections allow the whole school to be experienced from many vantage points, encouraging pupils to learn from their peers and nurturing a strong sense of community.


ClientThe King's School, Canterbury

Chinese partnersHeng Yue Group

CompletionLate 2020

LandscapeBradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape