Nanjing International School Early Years Redevelopment | EIW Architects

2020 International Chapter Architecture Awards

2020 International Chapter Architecture Awards: People's Choice

Nanjing International School Early Years Redevelopment | EIW Architects

Educational Architecture

EIW Architects were successfully shortlisted in an international design competition for the redesign of the Early Years Centre at the Nanjing International School (NIS). Following a design thinking collaboration between NIS and No Tosh over 2 years, EIW approached a design concept building upon the two stated goals: student voice and choice and to burst the bubble.

Led by passionate staff and visionary leadership, EIW explored breaking down barriers within an existing building to expand space, connect the learners with the outdoors, bring in natural daylight and build a fluid and flexible learning environment. The learning adventure has connected through refurbishment and renovation, through rethinking relationships, through enhancing structures and developing solutions that connect, the spaces and connect to local Nanjing Culture.
We determined that the early years learning experience should be a celebration of all the senses. We wanted children to pursue discovery in a Reggio-inspired environment, embracing every opportunity available.

Nanjing International School Early Years Redevelopment | EIW Architects | Photographer: Sun Jian

Client perspective:
How does the design benefit the way you live/work/play/operate/educate/other?

We have “campfires,” instead of classrooms. Rounded spaces encircled by soft bamboo shelving brings us together as a community. One can freely walk to visible spaces co-created between students and teachers. Choices abound for our learners in our spaces for individuals or groups. There are caves to climb in with a friend or amphitheatre steps which invite an audience. Instead of “fixed furniture,” we have open shelving and tables that are dynamic choices with mirrors, blackboard, magnetic tops, and light. Flexible indoor-outdoor spaces for learners to channel their energy within a challenging, natural environment that offer a world of discovery.


Practice team

Chloe Summers – Design Architect

Philip Idle – Design Architect,

Florence Wong – Drafter

Kate Miles – Marketing + Presentation


GC Company, Jiangsu Hong Ma Construction. Co.Ltd – Builder

Four Landscape Studio – Landscape Consultant

Lucid Consulting – Services Consultant

Sun Jian – Photographer

Project location

Qi Xia District, China

Our partners

Principal Partner
Major National Partners
National Corporate Partners
National Supporting Partners

​National Insurance Partner

National Media Partner

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