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UK design firm finds its groove in China
来源：中国日报网 时间：2019-06-28 16:10:02 编辑：刘映红
A file photo of Central London-based Westminster School. [Photo/IC]
The groundbreaking work, which started in April at the 100,000-square-meter Chengdu Westminster School in Southwest China's Sichuan province marks not only the first of the six campuses of the nearly-900-year-old UK private school in China, but also the largest expansion of a Western school brand into the Chinese education market.
今年4月，地处中国西南四川、占地10万平方米的成都威斯敏斯特学校（Chengdu Westminster School）开始动工，它不仅是拥有近900年历史的英国私立学校在中国修建6所校区中的第一家，也意味着西方学校品牌向中国教育市场的急剧扩张。
It has also spawned unparallel business opportunities for Broadway Malyan, a London-headquartered architecture firm that has been in charge of the design of the Chengdu school, to make a smooth transition and sustain, if not further accelerate, its growth in China.
As the country's retail landscape has been heavily impacted by the booming e-commerce market, leaving a number of investors wavering in the idea of building more shopping malls, the architecture firm, which established its China office in Shanghai in 2008, is seeing the majority of its work shifting from design for retail to the education sector over the past decade.
In 2018, nearly 70 percent of the revenue generated by its China office, staffed by a total of 45 employees, came from design work in the education sector. That compares with 2014, when shopping malls and buildings contributed to upward of 80 percent of the revenue.
"The aspirations in China are much greater than anywhere else in the world, and the facilities of international schools both in operation and in pipeline are fantastic," said Stuart Rough, chairman of the global design practice with 16 offices around the world.
"There are theaters, Olympicsize indoor swimming pools... In the UK, a school has on average 500-800 students. While in China, we are building schools for 3,000 kids. It's such a huge task, and always gets completed before deadline," he said.
In the case of Chengdu Westminster School, which is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2020, the all-through boarding school will include a "West End" standard theater with a seating capacity of 1,000 people, and a total of 70 music practice rooms distributed between teaching and boarding blocks.
With a particular focus on STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), the school will enroll kids ranging in age from three to 18 years old.
In total area, Broadway Malyan has designed 350,000 square meters of schools in China, with another 500,000 square meters of schools on the "drawing board," which are to be completed by the end of 2020. The percentage of the education sector contributing to the company's total business is the highest among its global offices.
China has overtaken the United Arab Emirates to be the world's largest market for international schools since 2016, home to 597 establishments, according to a report by the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based independent think tank.
据总部在北京的一家独立智库“中国与全球化中心”（Center for China and Globalization）发布的报告显示，自2016年以来，中国已经超过阿联酋成为全球最大的国际学校市场，拥有597所国际学校。
A number of real estate developers including Vanke and Country Garden are trying to take a share of the market either by creating their own brands or collaborating with prestigious international ones.
"As the Chinese economy is transitioning to a quality-growth path, we are also reinventing ourselves in the market to stay ahead of competition. Chinese consumers today are no longer satisfied with just getting better clothes or meals. They are investing in the future, like education for kids, leisure, welfare and health," said Rough.
“随着中国经济转向高质量发展阶段，我们也在市场中重塑自我，以保持领先地位。今天的中国消费者不再仅仅满足于更好的物质生活，他们也在给未来投资，包括孩子的教育、休闲、福利和健康。” 斯图亚特·鲁厄谈到。（作者：Xu Junqian 翻译：张雅舒）