Reigate Grammar School is one of the top schools in the UK with a history of more than 300 years. Reigate is planning to build a new school in Zhangjiagang that represents its academic strength and demonstrate international atmosphere. The campus is a typical K-12 campus, with Kindergarten, Primary School, Middle School and High School, including facilities such as library, gym, theatre, canteen, dormitories and sports fields. The school wished the campus to be based on traditional British style translated into a rational and formal modern architecture, whose function matches the advanced educational philosophy and teaching methods of Reigate. Being impressed by VIRTUARCH’s expertise in designing educational programs, the school commissioned the Swiss architecture firm to plan and design its campus, which covers an area of more than 50,000 square meters.

British Abbey as Reference

As a main entrance symbolizing the link to Reigate Grammar School, VIRTUARCH placed a semi-enclosed plaza at the north entrance of the campus. With colonnades encircling a large lawn, the ceremonial entrance space recalls of a traditional British Abbey. Directly in front of the plaza is the multimedia center. VIRTUARCH not only places this most important functional building in the prominent position at the entrance, but also uses it as the visual highlight.

Main entrance with Multimedia Center and Plaza

The High School and Middle School teaching buildings are along the street on the east and west sides of the plaza. The Gymnasium with Swimming Pool is placed on the Northeast corner of the plot, next to the main sports field. The middle school teaching building stands face to face with the primary school building, with a canteen designed in between. A courtyard is enclosed among the teaching buildings and the canteen, while another two semi-enclosed courtyards are located between the High School, the Multimedia Center and the Auditorium.

The colonnade of the entrance plaza and the large terrace on the second floor connect all seven buildings into one large teaching facility, with the courtyards and a theater included. The terrace connects all functional spaces in a three-dimensional way to create plenty of leisure spaces for students. More importantly, to avoid inconvenient situations on rainy days, the covered colonnades provide for a protected outdoor connection of all buildings.  

A Blend of Classical and Modern Styles

The symmetrical layout is in line with the classic British architectural style. VIRUTARCH’s designers skillfully re-interpret the British elements and combine them with Chinese elements to create a symmetrical main façade for the campus. The classical façade proportion and the elegant beige stone-like color highlight the solemn feeling of a British architecture, while different blocks in various colors and patterns on the façade bring youth and vividness to buildings. Contrasting with beige stone-like coatings of the façade, a warm and bright wood color is used for the windows. The idea is to surround the students with the wood-colored materials to give them a warm impression.

Façade facing Fuxin Road

Comparing with the neoclassical style of the teaching buildings, the dormitory buildings look more modern so that it can be easily distinguished from the campus’ teaching areas and at the same time be in harmony with the campus’ surrounding environment.

Modern dormitory façade

Landscape Axis as a Basis for Planning

Referring to a traditional campus design, VIRTUARCH inserts a main landscape axis in the campus, which is the Boulevard connecting the living and teaching areas. The southern and northern ends of the Avenue are marked by the iconic Bell Tower and the Multimedia Center. With its careful selection of trees with a distinctive seasonal character, the Boulevard enriches the campus with a variety of shapes and colors.

The multimedia center at the north end of the Boulevard

On east side of the Boulevard, VIRTUARCH arranged the large sports fields, which are divided into a standard football field, a rugby field, a hockey field, a volleyball field and tennis courts. This variety of sports fields enable students to do their favorite sports, fulfilling Reigate’s focus on physical education and extracurricular activities.

A clear zoning for the RGS Campus Zhangjiagang: Main teaching facilities on North side (top), Sport Fields and Connecting Boulevard in the middle, Dormitory and Kindergarten in the South.

The Southwest corner of the plot is foreseen for future extensions, mainly for Dormitories and a Learning Center.

Contemporary Interior Design and Holistic Landscaping

Being in charge not only for Architecture Design, but also for Interior Design and Landscaping Design for the RGS Campus in Zhangjiagang, VIRTUARCH could create stimulating and contemporary learning environments for the students of RGS. The Interior Design and Landscaping Design concepts will be presented in upcoming articles. Stay tuned.

VIRTUARCH’s Competence in Educational Projects

VIRTUARCH has designed and / or managed over 150 school projects in China and Southeast Asia over the last 18 years. VIRTUARCH combines its competences in Architecture Design, Interior Design, Landscaping Design and in managing projects on behalf of the Owners, in order to achieve great results. VIRTUARCH’s schools are thought from the perspective of the students and teachers, providing them with the best possible learning environments while respecting the budget and schedule framework for the projects.

If you want to know more, please contact the Educational Projects Experts of VIRTUARCH under





PROJECT SIZE: 53,835 sqm

PROJECT DATE: 2019-2020


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