Xiayu Kindergarten lies on the edges of the Qingpu New Town. In large scale region character, Qingou is one of the several sub-districts around Shanghai, which still preserve some traditional buildings. Since Qingpu New Town was basically built up from farmland and it is faraway from the old town, Xiayu Kindergarten can hardly be influenced by the style of local traditional buildings, in fact, the area around site is vacant, thus the traditional urban feeling is inexistent. But the eastern side elevated highway is the potential source of exhausted gas and noise, but it also provides the possibilities of viewing the building of various eyesight, altitude and speed in process of passing by. The river provides the fine landscape, and it also let us think about the way of ensuring the children's security and the figure of building by the river.
In design of Xiayu Kindergarten, we emphasize the difference between inside and outside. We moderately isolate the inside and outside of the building by conforming the boundary, thereby create the difference between them. The inner region is protected, while the outer environment is filtrated.
The kindergarten contains 15 classes, and each one have it's own living room, dining room, bedroom and outdoor playground. After placing all the functions as a linear bar in the narrow site, we find a soft curve form could suit the site better than straight lines. So we separate the 15 classrooms and teacher offices into two curve clusters that are wrapped by solid and void material respectively. A painting finished wall clarifies all the classrooms while office and special classrooms are fenced by elevated Channel glass.
In design of class unit, we arrange all the living rooms on the first floor with outdoor playgrounds, and leave brilliant colored bedroom boxes on second floor. To emphasize floating and uncertain feeling we detach the colored boxes' floor from the roof of first floor. It's this uncertain and isolation on proper scale that leads to a seemed random convergence condition and produces spatial tension. Every three bedroom are linked by raised wooden walkways, thus create a friendly and kind atmosphere like a bedroom village.
Architecture volume is scattered by the tall trees dotted in those courtyards, while final architectural figure is full of vigor because of the trees. Thus the architecture and tall trees bring out the best in each other and cohabit harmoniously in the narrow riverside.
[ Xiayu Kindergarten ]
Location Huale road, Qingpu new town, Shanghai
Floor Area 6 328 sqm
Design Team Chen Yifeng, Liu Yichun, Zhuang Shen, Fan Mingji
Design Period 2003.8-2004.4
Photography Zhang Siye