Kings School, Dubai, UAE International School Building Design

Kings International School Building Design

Kings School in  Dubai, UAE, is one of the first all-through schools in Dubai, this striking international school building design is an ‘all-through’ school that shares many facilities with its local community as a high-class learning environment in the area.

The architectural language of the school is bold, considering it has little immediate context to respond to. Those who have seen the school in plan have likened it to some sort of make-believe spaceship, with an undulating roofline alike to a sand dune. A doughnut-shaped heart forming the middle of the school site with a huge ark entry reception. Flanked by the two smaller schools and rear spikes forming the specialist subject wings.

From Nursery to Sixth Form

The school has provision for pupils aged from Infants to 18 years old. It has three separate schools as part of its pupil intake:

  1. Early Years and Infant School Buildings
  2. Primary Junior School Buildings
  3. Secondary School Buildings

The Infant School building forms part of the community school wing. The spaces within the infant building focus on shared inter-year learning environments. Concentrating on the foster and forming of pupil relationships and the emotional learning of the pupils. Key-stage one teaching aims sensitively supporting children as they transition from the play-based foundation stage. Moving on to more a formalised learning environment for pupils at the infant stage. Key-stage one shared learning environment point to follow the children’s interests, where imaginative and engaging activities are able to take place. All are visible in the progression of small shared spaces and learning environments between classrooms, leading to high levels of engagement and excitement between classes and groups of pupils.

As the children grow, encouraging greater independence through learning collaboration.

Shared cave brainstorming and learning environment spaces are there for this to take place. As well in the central sheltered external and internal atrium spaces with ample opportunity for different learning experiences. From an external point of view assess to the central play area is from the shaded terrace play and learning zones outside each classroom.

Using the goals of the English curriculum, to inform the requirements for spaces and learning environments.

The Junior School buildings occupy the opposite wing from the central access reception zone. The spaces within this building aim to assist and prepare pupils for an academic emphasis on citizenship and personal development. Learning in subject areas complements skill acquisition in independence, leadership, thinking skills, collaboration, imagination and confidence building. Similar learning environments attributed to the infant school. However, the Junior school provides more formal structured and organised manner toward learning discipline for pupils at this stage.

Extra specialist learning areas including for music and drama held in a studio with accompanying stage. A computing suite, language learning suite, design and technology workshops add to mix the Junior School provision. The Junior School has access to a dedicated Swimming Pool within its own structure, sports pitches and courts for the physical educational curriculum.

Learning environments to sample a variety of career possibilities

The location of the Secondary School buildings is towards the rear of the main reception arc. Delineates the main heart of the school for which all students are aiming towards. This oval shaped set of accommodation incorporates an external performance arena centrepiece. Linking to the community play areas surrounding the oval building. All classrooms focus on this central space (ground and 1st floor) to promote the interaction between year groups and classrooms.

Standout parts of the secondary building, specialist smaller wings spike out from this central classroom base for spaces to sample potential careers for secondary students. Also, high standard accommodation supports pupils being taught at secondary school. The secondary school building main body holds several classrooms. Subject areas for core subjects like science laboratory spaces, ICT and communications suites. The Secondary School offer as well vocational based classrooms to open the student’s eyes to new careers. Whereby, teaching in photography and graphics studios, technology and materials workshops; music and recording studios are beneficial to the students. A fully fitted theater; sports arenas for sporting tournaments and naturally lit art-based studios are more facilities at the school. The idea is to provide the best facilities and learning environments to enable the children to sample subjects leading to careers choices.

An enormous set of school buildings with a huge heart within its community

Throughout planning, the concentration on the school design mainly centred on creating interlinked learning spaces, for younger age groups in particular. These spaces are key in playing a part with the pupil’s development. However, in general, interlinked learning spaces provide opportunities to foster the school community interaction between all students and year groups as whilst focusing on imaginative play and learning environments that benefit the school.

The external learning environments are no different to those internally.

All spaces are shaded by the large overhanging roof structure on tree like columns forming linking patio and terrace spaces. Again, to foster external play and group learning environments, before progressing to larger play and sports areas. All three school take the opportunity to provide these external green learning zones within the heart of the school buildings through tall shaded courtyards.

This international school building design is high class as you would expect to see in Dubai City. The variety of learning spaces and specialist facilities is incredibly rich, but structured in a focused and ordered plan. Compact enough to create a tight-nit school community. SpaceShapers found this project a pleasure to work on.

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Private Client
Jannuary 2016
Dubai, UAE
© SpaceShapersArchitects 2018