in the wake of lushan’s 2013 earthquakes in china, open foundation has donated an atelier deshaus-designed kindergarten in the village of xinchang. surrounded by a hilly landscape, the site is a relatively small platform in the northwest, facing a mountain gap so that people can still feel a sense of seclusion. the kindergarten is conceived as a little village with a total area of 1,500sqm, where the space is divided into nine isolated cottages according to the various programs.

the courtyard pavings and the building façades adopt locally-produced shale sintering bricks
all images © su shengliang



these cottages are placed on the north, south and east sides of the site to enclose a u-shape courtyard facing west. the courtyard pavings and the building façades installed by deshaus adopt locally-produced shale sintering bricks, endowing the place with a strong sense of artificiality. hence, on the one hand, the design stands apart from the surrounding nature and on the other, it forms an inseparable ensemble with the sky, the platform, the nearby villages and the further mountain gap.

the inner courtyard is the centre of the u-shaped kindergarten




the manifestation of nature is controlled to be deeply related to the development and transformations of the site. the design takes into considerations of children’s mental and physical characteristics, making efforts to realize the diversity and capability of playfulness in the spatial typologies. due to the rainy climate, the kindergarten’s unit buildings and the main entrance are connected by a circuitous veranda, adapting the level difference of the site.

the main entrance courtyard

Major activity room

the main entrance features ramp covered by a light steel roof overhead

the space is divided into nine isolated cottages according to the various programs

the corridor connects the little cottages

the inner courtyard overlooks the surrounding mountainous landscape

southern yard

the dimly lit veranda in the courtyard

due to the rainy climate, the kindergarten’s unit buildings and the main entrance are connected by a circuitous veranda, adapting the level difference of the site

view of the mountain gap from the inner courtyard



project info:


project name: xinchang village’s central kindergarten in tianquan county, sponsored by one foundation
architect: atelier deshaus
completion time: 2017.01
design period: 2014.12-2015.04
built area: 1500 sqm
project location: xinchang village of tianquan county in sichuan province, china
photographer: su shengliang
design team: chen yifeng, liu yichun, gao lin, gao de construction: beijing tongchengfanhua architecture & engineering consulting co.,ltd. client: one foundation
products used in the project: shale sintering brick / steel / hot-dip al-zn alloy-coated steel sheet



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

  • Really nice. Hope it’s quake-resilient. Needs some flora such as planters.

    Mort d'Urban says:

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