St. Bees School Dongguan

LCompleted / BuiltBuilding Dongguan, 2020

International learning environment

Encompassing more than four hundred years of history in England, St Bees School’s new school branch in China is located at the heart of Dongguan City. St Bees School Dongguan Centre is an international school that welcomes high school students to prepare for A-level examination, which includes a main campus building and a dormitory. 

Former shoe factory to modern school

The site was originally a shoe factory with a dormitory for workers. The design revitalised the existing factory structures into a modern learning environment, preserving the buildings’ history. In the main building, a new red brick brise soleil is added to the exterior of the old concrete facade to deflect sunlight and mitigate solar heat gains. It takes reference to the original campus in England of its famous red brick wall, using similar local material to mimic the british red sandstone. The main entrance is a high ceiling open area, with a welcoming cylindrical library at the center connected to the school assembly hall and a marketing room. 

Experience a mix of chinese and western culture

The design aims to instil western culture in a chinese context, to provide a globalised environment.  For example, the common room is a place for students to communicate and make friends. Equipped with table football and coaches, this setting encourages social interaction between students, which is a culture from the west to greet peers in a relaxing atmosphere. 

British arches are integrated to the third floor learning resource center (LRC)  area, to challenge the existing structure with a taste of western architectural style. Books shelves are also designed in round shapes to soften the hard edges.

Tradition and modernity  

The campus is mainly occupied by wood furnitures, with modern technology incorporated. Electric whiteboards can be found in classrooms, to adjust to modern educational needs. Sound absorbing panels are installed throughout the ceiling of the assembly hall and study rooms to get the optimal acoustics. There is also transparency between facilities such as the art room to the LRC area, where teachers can easily look for students from inside outside.

Traditional British architecture utilises natural light a lot, therefore this campus also has a indoor light system designed to balance natural and artificial lighting. With ample natural light in daytime, it reduces dependence on artificial electrical lighting. Transparent light films are installed throughout the ceiling of the study room, to provide abundant light for students to study. In the Lab there is a playful arrangement of LED light pattern, as well as in the Dormitory Canteen, where light is laid on the triangular beams to form a dynamic pattern.

Space design for students’ preference

Formal and Informal learning spaces are scattered in the building to cater for students’ own preference.  For instance, a common room can be used for informal group discussion, while the tables on the third floor LRC area provide a more quiet atmosphere for study , using mattresses to absorb noise. The campus is a decent learning space for our future generations.



擁有超過四百年的歷史,英國聖比斯公學在中國的新分支設於東莞市的市中心。聖比斯公學東莞中心是一所國際學校,為高中生準備A Level 考試課程,其中包括主校舍和宿舍。












St. Bees Dongguan