C&F School is an international school located in Kunming, China. The client aspires to create a unique C&F Cultural Learning Community, where their vision of “gathering and innovating rich cultural and educational resources” can be implemented. The interior designers came up with the idea of “The Great Adventure”, where the interior spaces are narrated through a kid’s adventure filled with childlike imagination.
The first stop is the Jade Children’s Pavilion, a kid-centric bookstore. The interiors take form of a storybook unfolding its pages, expressed through organic curves in the ceiling, walls and shelving. Double curved surface ceiling overlaps each other, each curve accentuated by LED cove lighting along the contours. General lighting is provided by recessed downlights and surface-mounted spotlights, while accent lights are used in designated areas to highlight product displays.
The “pages” of the ceiling unfold into the heart of the pavilion, The Curiosity Theatre. Delicate foot-lighting guide visitors as they ascend the steps into the theatre. Primarily, the theatre hosts children’s performances and when there are no events, it doubles as a quiet reading area. Lighting design with one panel setting is applied to transition into different scenarios efficiently. For general lighting, track-mounted spotlights with long arms are mounted above the suspended ceilings. The spotlights are fitted with wide beam angle reflectors and LED chips of 3500k.
The second stop is the learning space which is made up of a series of classrooms. The suspended ceilings of the classrooms are crafted to mimic giant petals and leaves, sheltering the children as they grow. The organic ceiling feature is decorative yet functional at the same time. The contour of the panels are lined with 3500k strip lighting, creating a floating impression as soft light diffuses from the cove. Round recessed downlights with high light output are installed into the panels for direct lighting. This strategic move reduces the number of light fixtures needed for illumination.
The lighting design reinforces the aesthetic language of the interiors. A lot of technical effort goes behind the scenes as well, where various settings of illumination are set up to adapt to different functional needs of distinctive learning environments.
Location of the Project: Kunming, China
Completion Date: June 2021
Design Team: Carlos Galan, Viva Cao and Shiny Kuang
Interior Design: Robarts Spaces
Photography: Boris Shiu and Tony Rui