Massing and complex programming
The project called for the design of a 15-classroom-kindergarten, an early education center and a dormitory for teachers. The three programs will function independently but there’s a need to put the three programs in a coherent setting. We proposed a series of meandering volumes to put all the programs together. The approach allows the three major programs to be visually connected and yet functionally separated. The meandering volumes also formed a series of courts that function as buffer zones mediating between exterior and interior spaces.
Redefining circulation spaces
The major challenge of the project is how to create sufficient indoor public spaces for a kindergarten located in north China where winter is extremely cold. Instead of using small corridors to connect all the classrooms, we proposed a 6m-wide-and-80m-long space that connects all the classrooms across three levels and functions as an indoor playground and learning spaces. In this linear multi-purpose indoor playground, children play, dance, ride bicycles, crawl, sit and read. Circulation spaces are no longer mere spaces of passages, but have become spaces for learning, playing and communication.