elto consultancy redefines shanghai kindergarten as a life-sized toy

elto consultancy redefines shanghai kindergarten as a life-sized toy

interior design firm elto consultancy’s vision and objective for this shanghai kindergarten was to create a place that felt like home and a small communal place for kids at the same time. for the avenue green sheshan school, the firm established a social interactive environment, complete with relaxing netural tones with pops of blue. encouraging children interaction in a creative environment, the school helps to cultivate emotional intelligence and mutual growth.

reception area at lobby (the undecorated backdrop wall can be used for interactive projection)



the designers responded to the local chinese conditions, envisioning how children and teachers will be using the space. keeping in mind the whole community, they explored the daily interactions between children, teachers as well as parents. to encourage this interaction across all ages, there is a café space in the school, which is an open area where parents can wait and rest, while children play around. one of the features at this reception area is the backdrop wall with simple color-coat, which is used to project children’s works and showcase the school’s culture.

reception & rest area at lobby



the light combination of wood and pale colors, conveys a message of sustainability and at the same time gives the sense of a home-y, warm feeling. the designer intentionally makes the entire space into a huge toy, by placing a surprising curved slide in the center of the reception waiting area. with this structure, it promotes children’s curiosity and unearths their unlimited and self-initiated exploration mode.

bar counter at the rest area



elto consultancy also takes the children’s perception and feelings into consideration while dealing with design details and the overall concept for the kindergarten. as the slanted window structure being part and parcel of the building, the interior is highly geometrical which challenges the children’s visual experience, while the rooms are arranged with a narrative-inspired twist. the designers also utilize the building’s natural sunlight filterning into the interior space to create a sense of peacefulness and coziness.

morning physical examination area



the school’s design encourages children to navigate the space while surveying and interacting with different elements of the design. there are different zones that offer different architectural terrains and structures that can accommodate various modes of activities, both dynamic and quiet. the open, bright and pleasant area is big enough for the children to run freely around the columns, and play hide-and-seek. meanwhile, the small huts that are incorporated in the large space allow children to enjoy a more personal and quite ambiance.

infirmary & isolation room



the space is not only a kindergarten, but also a transitional paradise between home and the outside world. it is a container that holds childishness, playfulness and dreams. elto consultancy also created a mezzanine level for an interlocking space and circulation, with the intention to turn the building space into a huge spatial toy for children to play in.

center court (children’s play area)



the designers added a climbing net to the mezzanine area to allow children to climb high and look down from above. it creates a fun physical exercise and also varied contact spaces for children to move around and explore.the mezzanine level also serves as the children’s dining area. the classroom design is naturally-lit, with enough openings for an airy environment. when the sun shines in, the room becomes warm for a heavenly bright and cheerful learning atmosphere.

small huts in the center court



the minimal spaces throughout the school appear simple, yet offer unexpected and pleasant surprises hidden in the design details. the designers chose children-friendly materials, customized furniture according to the height of children of different group levels, and arranged all the sockets and switches into positions that kids cannot reach. the design is not resulted from a sudden rush of inspiration but a series of caring considerations for the building’s age group.




each element in the space was designed to carry emotional value, providing kids with a different perception of the original concept of a ‘home’. elto consultancy aimed to provide a fantastic learning experience that is immersed in interior architecture, and at the same time to give the children sense of ownership and safety. the designers state, ’kindergarten is always the second home. in this beautiful second home, let the children to chase around and feel the warmth while growing up happily.




staircase leading to mezzanine



project name: avenue green sheshan in shanghai

interior design firm: elto consultancy

designer: chloe liew

location: no. 2, hedong street, chenfangqiao, sheshan town, songjiang district, shanghai, china

category: kindergarten

area: 6,100 m2

completion time: june 2019

photography: threeimages / zhang jing

suppliers: gerflor (floorings), peng peng bear (slide and playing net), senchuan (furniture)


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: cristina gomez | designboom

  • A nice piece of creation by incorporating human feeling into design, most importantly advocating green practice. Great job

    Samme says:

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