Discovery College, located at Lantau Island in Hong Kong, has a gross floor area of 24 500 m2 â€“ ample space for the 1400+ pupils. Belonging to the English Schools Foundation (ESF), this private school opened in August 2008 and houses both primary and secondary facilities. In addition to laboratories, classrooms and a library, the complex also includes a centre for performing arts and other special education units. The chief aim of the design was to achieve a harmonious integration between the school, with its diverse usages and activities, and the surroundings, but without obstructing the view of the sea significantly.
This brief resulted in a compact structure, an amalgamation of individual blocks fitted together around internal courtyards and the essential circulation zones. The element linking all this is the lightweight, gently curving membrane roof that covers the entire school.
seele covertex in Shanghai produced and delivered the 6000 m2 of two-ply ETFE material for the roof, which is supported by a steel framework. This transparent roof covering allows ample daylight to reach the rooms and areas below; but at the same time, it provides shade against direct sunlight and protects against rainfall. The roof also has a positive influence on the microclimate within the building by reducing the solar heat gains and therefore the cooling energy requirement. The â€śtree columnsâ€ť supporting the roof help to retain the natural air circulation below which in turn guarantees optimum temperatures in the central areas.