Youth Center of Qingpu

The low, human-scaled volumes that make up the new Youth Center together create a campus of structures connected by courtyards, paved walkways, and a series of bridges.

Many of the building volumes are clad in perforated metal screens attached to brightly colored concrete walls. Cutouts in the screens reveal insulating low-E glazing from Zhuogao Glass.

The perforated-metal-screen-clad volumes of the Youth Center are interspersed with white-washed volumes, which the architects used, in combination with the gray brick pavers, to nod back to the traditional building typologies of the region. The windows not only admit daylight, but also help express the interior spaces and program on the minimalist façade.

A courtyard with a large reflecting pool serves as a hub for several of the building volumes, such as a theater and dance studios.

Activity Yard

The voids between the building volumes allow for exterior gathering spaces, like this gravel-lined courtyard filled with planters.

Much of the circulation around the Youth Center complex is outdoors, in gray-paved alleys and over bridges that run like streets through the site.

Second-level outdoor circulation.

Color is introduced to the interior primarily through vivid walls that are coated in Dulux paint. The internal hallways feature self-leveling concrete floors.

In the library, wood flooring from Armstrong lends warmth to the white double-height space. Circular windows on the lower level look out into one of many courtyards, and terraced seating areas provide gathering spaces for the children.

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