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crossboundaries intersect colored hallways within kindergarten in china
all images © yang chao ying

 

 

 

in zhengzhou china, a concrete circular building was erected ten years ago but never used for its purpose. instead of demolishing the vast structure, beijing-based practice crossboundaries have renovated and re-purposed the derelict buildings into a program including public recreational space with a kindergarten to result in the ‘sooyoo joyful growth center’.

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the building as a whole creates coherence and connections within the community

 

 

 

lightweight ropes spanning from the existing roof to the ground wrap the exterior. they have been installed diagonally and layered to diminish the original building’s rigidness and add richness without blocking natural light. additionally, to provide ease for orientation, the ropes’ color follows the same color palette as the interiors.

 

 

the large available space called for a unique spatial typology to follow with the regulations for conventional educational facilities in china. access into the scheme is through several  entrances, children enter into an open  lobby on the ground floor and are greeted with play frames and retail stores. at the center of the atrium, there is a fan-shaped swimming pool area.

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bright colors have been used to distinguish corridors and rooms

 

 

 

the second floor is dedicated for reading, art, music, dance, geography – all created to flow onto the next without the use of partitioning – suggesting knowledge is interconnected. this open plan layout was chosen to encourage interaction and the opportunity to experience different subjects in a broader context. the diverse program continues with more learning areas, a planetarium and a green house on the third floor and finally, the building is topped with a running track and playground on the roof.

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the spatial organization is described as having no barriers to encourage socialization

 

 

 

using vivid color to stimulate interest and knowledge, a distinctive element of this project is the insertion of five ‘tubes’ directly into the building to create additional pathways. the colored tubes cut through the building in different angles, deliberately breaking the rigidness of the floor plates. similar to a subway system, these tubes intersect and lead children to different parts of the building.

 

 

‘a child begins in a color tube, allowing its interest to guide it through various fields of knowledge and explore their interconnections. the experience is never the same for any one child, depending on each visit, opening up a multitude of journeys in soyoo, as well as in a universe of knowledge and social interactions.’ – crossboundaries

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on the third floor there are learning areas, a planetarium and a green house

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small stages installed aim to spark children’s interest in theater and music

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the project is located in zhengzhou, china

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ropes have been intersected and added around the exterior to lessen the rigidness of the building

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people naturally weave in and out of the new and old façade

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