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Programme: Kindergarten
Site: Foshan, China
Size: 4,200 sqm (CFA)
Completion Date: In progress
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(Mis)Conception:
The site to build a new international kindergarten is located at the corner of a brand new 40-storey residential towers development. At first glance, this unique site condition gave us inspiration to express the full potentials of it. We generated various massing strategies, aiming at capturing this seemingly plausible site characteristic…

Concept:
Only then we stumbled across the phrase from《禮記》( the Book of Rites), 475 BC - 221 BC:

“玉不琢,不成器;人不學,不知道”
“As a jade without chiseling will not become a useful object, a man without learning will not know the way”

Immediately we knew we had it wrong. We repented.

We decided on the most non-expressive (almost mundane) massing to reflect the true spirit of the site. Like an unpolished jade stone, what is seen outside is not necessarily what you are about to experience inside…

We examined our project with the following criteria:

XL (Urban Scale): Our urban response was to provide a subtle yet clear gesture to contrast with the expressive undulating façade of the towering residential blocks behind our kindergarten, providing an urban “socle” with the towers as backdrop. We call it a “Silent Block” with rhythmed-punched square windows.

L (Building Scale): The punched windows open up a dialogue between the exterior and interior. These windows relate to the physical height of the children, and allow them to see the outside world at their own eye-levels. The windows also break down the scale of the interior. Each one is a small aperture for the children to frame the outside world.

M (Interior Scale): We have abandoned the traditional double loaded corridor/classroom layout with corridor-free roaming space instead. The classrooms are designed as “Open-Eggs” to allow for maximum visual and physical interactions among the children, yet they can be curtained off to provide privacy if needed. Each “Open-Egg” is uniquely finished with different texture and reflectivity to give the children an opportunity to perceive the world through the five senses.

S (Furniture Scale): We have developed a furniture system that could be freely combined and to latch onto the bent metal conduits along the perimeter walls. The conduits also act as seating and places for the children to place books and schoolbags as well.
(Mis)Conception:
The site to build a new international kindergarten is located at the corner of a brand new 40-storey residential towers development. At first glance, this unique site condition gave us inspiration to express the full potentials of it. We generated various massing strategies, aiming at capturing this seemingly plausible site characteristic…

Concept:
Only then we stumbled across the phrase from《禮記》( the Book of Rites), 475 BC - 221 BC:

“玉不琢,不成器;人不學,不知道”
“As a jade without chiseling will not become a useful object, a man without learning will not know the way”

Immediately we knew we had it wrong. We repented.

We decided on the most non-expressive (almost mundane) massing to reflect the true spirit of the site. Like an unpolished jade stone, what is seen outside is not necessarily what you are about to experience inside…

We examined our project with the following criteria:

XL (Urban Scale): Our urban response was to provide a subtle yet clear gesture to contrast with the expressive undulating façade of the towering residential blocks behind our kindergarten, providing an urban “socle” with the towers as backdrop. We call it a “Silent Block” with rhythmed-punched square windows.

L (Building Scale): The punched windows open up a dialogue between the exterior and interior. These windows relate to the physical height of the children, and allow them to see the outside world at their own eye-levels. The windows also break down the scale of the interior. Each one is a small aperture for the children to frame the outside world.

M (Interior Scale): We have abandoned the traditional double loaded corridor/classroom layout with corridor-free roaming space instead. The classrooms are designed as “Open-Eggs” to allow for maximum visual and physical interactions among the children, yet they can be curtained off to provide privacy if needed. Each “Open-Egg” is uniquely finished with different texture and reflectivity to give the children an opportunity to perceive the world through the five senses.

S (Furniture Scale): We have developed a furniture system that could be freely combined and to latch onto the bent metal conduits along the perimeter walls. The conduits also act as seating and places for the children to place books and schoolbags as well.