Diocesan Boys’ School Primary Division, Hong Kong

A multiple disciplinary service helped the architects of a new Hong Kong primary school to fulfil the client’s brief for innovative, non-standard school design, despite a low budget and a difficult site. 

A new 30-classroom primary school was built within the existing campus of the Diocesan Boys’ School, one of Hong Kong’s top secondary schools. We provided fully integrated services for the entire project, from the schematic stage through to construction management.

Cost-effective solutions overcome difficult site constraints

The school comprises three interconnected rectangular blocks of up to six storeys, housing classrooms and administration, a laboratory and a library and assembly hall. The site slopes over a disused tunnel and is surrounded by high and steep slopes with a main railway track running alongside. Our cost-effective civil and geotechnical solutions supported the building planning to overcome these difficult site constraints and also avoided extensive disturbance to the existing natural vegetation and topography. They included an innovative exploratory method using CCTV to assess the exact alignment and condition of the tunnel to eliminate short term risk during piling as well as to ensure long term site safety. In the construction of a 78 m long double-lane, tree-lined elevated driveway, we supported the architect in preserving existing trees in the central reserve without incurring costly excavation works.

Design integration for an environment conducive to learning

Careful planning of the distribution of building services to integrate with the architectural layout and the structural design enhanced the overall aesthetic appeal of the building and the utilisation of space, creating a sense of light and transparency. Environmentally friendly solutions include natural ventilation, heat recovery from the air-conditioning system, and rain-water flushing. Careful coordination of the structural, civil and building services design ensured the efficient delivery of power, water, drainage, communications and gas over the varying contoured landscape and bridge link from the city main to the school complex.

The project was awarded the ‘Medal of the Year’ in the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Annual Award 2004, and won Certificate of Merit of Hong Kong Quality Building Award in 2006.