International School

Centerbrook designed the interior spaces for Keystone Academy, an innovative and unique school that is the first of its kind in the People’s Republic of China.

Keystone Academy is a bilingual school for grades 1-12 that prepares students for education abroad. Centerbrook’s interior design for this groundbreaking independent institution was based on the classic New England model for college preparatory schools.


Keystone Academy

Location Shunyi, Beijing, China
Size 750,000 Sq. Ft.
Features international
Program classrooms, laboratories, art studios, libraries, dining halls, residences, student center, athletic facilities, offices
Year Completed 2014
Photo Credit Keystone, Centerbrook

Centerbrook, which has worked on more than 45 independent school campuses in the United States, designed virtually the entire 750,000-square-foot interior, encompassing 136 classrooms, 24 labs, 16 art studios, three libraries, two dining halls, student and faculty residences for 1,000 people, a student center, athletic facilities, and administrative offices. The design incorporated warm and welcoming visual inspiration from both Chinese and American cultures. As is often typical in China, the mid-rise building shells were designed by others.

The project required Centerbrook to coordinate closely with an array of team members halfway around the world, such as the architects who designed the building shell, school leaders, translators, and members of the Provincial government. All of the work was done remotely, employing the latest in design and communication technology.

Led by President Dr. Edward Shanahan, the former Headmaster at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, Keystone Academy opened in 2014. It now has an enrollment of approximately 1,650 students. Those in grades 9-12 are required to be part of the boarding community while that is optional for those in grades 7-8. At Keystone, Chinese and American educators teach a bilingual curriculum in English and Chinese that prepares students for education at English-speaking universities abroad.