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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Sanhuan Kindergarten With Three Interwoven Hexagons in Yangzhong, China by PERFORM Design Studio

 
March 15th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: PERFORM Design Studio 

As kindergartens in China adopt a three-grade system, for this new one in the city of Yangzhong, Jiangsu Province, the Shanghai-based architectural studio PERFORM proposed three interwoven hexagonal volumes, with each volume holding the classrooms of a given grade, and each has a courtyard inside.

Main plaza1, Image Courtesy © Lian He

  • Architects: PERFORM Design Studio
  • Project: Sanhuan Kindergarten With Three Interwoven Hexagons
  • Location: Yangzhong, Jiangsu Province, China
  • Photography: Lian He, Qian Li
  • Design Team: Zhiyong Tan, Qian Wang, Shukai Chen, Deyun Hu, Tingting Zheng, Cheng Yang
  • Executive Architect: Jiangsu Haodu Construction & Engineering Co. Ltd.
  • Interior + Landscape Design: Perform Design Studio(Schematic)+  Jiangsu Haodu (Construction Documents)
  • Gross Built Area (square meters): 7003.0
  • Completion Time: Nov, 2017

Main plaza2, Image Courtesy © Lian He

All the programs are organized around three courtyards that have identical plan shapes but varied floor numbers, resulting in an overlapping and cascading massing form. The classrooms are on the top floor of each volume to maximize their natural light access and ventilation. Other supporting programs – music and art studios, a library, a multipurpose hall, a kitchen and teachers’ offices – are located on the lower floors.

Platform courtyard2, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Platform courtyard1, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Three courtyards differ in their character and materiality. For easy access, Junior Grade children reside in the classrooms around the one-story lawn courtyard. Middle Grade children migrate to the second level of the second courtyard, which features a mound-like wooden platform that is the roof of the multipurpose hall below. The third courtyard is to host Senior Grade children, and the architects proposed a concrete paving courtyard which can also collect rainwater and turn into a shallow wading pool during hot weather.

Platform courtyard2, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Lawn courtyard2, Image Courtesy © Lian He

While each courtyard seems to clearly belong to each different grade, the open circulation spaces or shortcuts between the courtyards allow the children to easily leave their own courtyard and explore other less familiar spaces. The juxtaposition of three hexagons produces an unpredicted spatial complexity. The spiritual center of the kindergarten is an outdoor amphitheater that slopes down from the mound of the second courtyard, partially covered by the roof of the third courtyard.

Lawn courtyard1, Image Courtesy © Qian Li

Water courtyard1, Image Courtesy © Lian He

The close adjacency between the courtyards provides children convenience to step out onto the roof terraces of the neighboring courtyards, and enjoy diverse outdoor activities, including peeking down to the lower floor classroom interiors through the roof skylights. The curvilinear walkways loop around and lead children back to their own courtyard.

Library interior, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Lobby, Image Courtesy © Lian He

The exterior facades of the classrooms are covered by metal louvers, with one color corresponding to one grade. The migration of the colored louvers from ground floor to the top floor, visible both within and without the courtyards, reinforces the concept of children growth, which is celebrated here both at independent moments in time, and collectively through time.

Classroom interior, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Amphitheater2, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Amphitheater1, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Water courtyard2, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Roof terrace, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Roof terrace, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Roof terrace, Image Courtesy © Qian Li

Platform view, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Platform dusk view, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Southwest view, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Dusk view from nearby farmland, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Birdseye view, Image Courtesy © Lian He

Concept Diagram, Image Courtesy © PERFORM Design Studio

Circulation diagram, Image Courtesy © PERFORM Design Studio

Site plan, Image Courtesy © PERFORM Design Studio

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Categories: Courtyard, Hall, Kindergarten, Kitchen, Library, Lobby, Plaza, Terrace

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