演藝大樓原址有一棵 18 米高的大榕樹，為建築設計帶來了一個挑戰，也造就了一個機遇。為了保留這棵甚具歷史價值的老榕樹，建築師巧妙地把它轉化成整個設計的重心，實踐保育概念。
King George V School is one of the oldest schools in Hong Kong. The brief asked for two new state-of-the-art buildings designed to blend in well with the existing site context, while responding to the school’s spatial needs and the demand for an upgrade to and expansion of campus facilities.
Design of Performing Arts Block (PA Block) ingeniously turned a constraint of an existing 18m-high Banyan Tree at backyard of the old canteen into the central theme of the new building. The form of the new canteen, which now occupies the lower 2 storeys, “embraces” this Tree. An amphitheatre was carefully designed around the Tree, allowing the space to flow from the Performing Tree Deck up to the first floor of the outdoor canteen patio, blending the indoor/ outdoor environments into one commons. It also provides a seamless connection with the open grounds of the main campus.
Unlike other academic spaces, the circulation space of PA Block is purposely articulated to enhance communications and offer inspirations, acts as a key element to the building. Balconies outside the music and drama studios, functioning as breakout spaces as well as performing pods, are designed on each floor; each overlooks the tree and performing deck and creates spaces beside the Tree. These pods are fun spaces to “see” and “to-be-seen”, encouraging communications among students with the performing tree deck below. Now, students can study, perform, share and learn in the nature, in particular at the performing pods adjacent to the Tree.
Primary colours – red, yellow and blue were introduced to the facades, adding vibrancy to the campus. The horizontal sun-shading devices were incorporated in the building’s façade to minimise the impact of the southern sun on internal areas. Typical floors employ a simple rectilinear form with shallow depth to promote cross-ventilation, while the building’s layout with its service core at the western end alleviates the effect of solar heat gain on functional rooms. The headroom of each typical floor was also maximised to provide natural daylight and ventilation for the interior spaces.
The Science Block located on the south of Peel Block, has created a nice landscaped courtyard with other buildings. A lecture theatre, which occupies only half the footprint of the building, is positioned on the ground floor. It spills over a covered foyer with an elevated 6m high floor-to-floor headroom, integral with the adjacent courtyard and seamless connection with the Peel Block.
The disposition of 13 science laboratories on the upper floors takes a modular approach, with magnificent views over the Sportsground. As in the PA Block, balconies are provided as breakout spaces on every floor here. In particular, two modules are carved out for the building (and the students) to breathe – with natural cross ventilation (and a place to hang out with classmates or teachers).
A cold and calm colour – lime green, is employed. It recalls both the sense of logic and natural greenery. Sun-shading fins are installed on the east facade in response to the environment.