ArchitectsLRH ARCHITECT & ASSOCIATES
Architect in ChargeXIAO Liren
Design TeamLEE Anchieh and Du Zhenwei
I. Natural and cultural contexts
The terrain of Shenkeng is long and narrow, surrounded by mountains with the Jingmei River flowing into the south side of the base. It has beautiful surroundings and an open view.
The site is located at the eastern entrance of the famous Shenkeng old street. The old tree and the temple courtyard are located at the western entrance. The meandering street full of people on weekends and holidays is just like a river of history with strong cultural atmosphere.
II. Social participation
- The project is not only a design project for a child care center, and an underground parking lot and park, but also an example of holistic thinking.
- After a lengthy public hearing and intense discussion, this project integrated different opinions from the local and public sectors; considered various elements including landscape, construction, transportation, industry, population and festive composition; and provided seemingly opposite alternative options--gradually forming a consensus.
- In the discussion process, the project took into consideration political opinions from different places and encouraged residents to discuss parking / park / baby care center / activity centers; and also considered seemingly opposite community opinions regarding private use / external use / festival / daily use. Ultimately, the design was no longer just a question of beauty versus ugliness, or self-evident, but aesthetic design arrived at through consensus-building.
- Since the opening ceremony, surprisingly, this project has been well accepted and highly used by the public. Community residents, the elderly, kids and young parents, tourists, young people, and so forth all find their own corner and have gently changed the community cultural space of Shenkeng. The project has redefined the interaction between locals and tourists and has brought younger and older people closer. The place has become a gathering space for enjoying good food during festivals, andalso provides babysitting services for Shenkeng.
Local views were integrated during the process of creating the space, which is in line with the global trend over the past decade of including people’s ideas about building their own communities.
III. Space Fun
To respond to the mountainous surroundings and natural scenery, as well as to provide exercise space for the elderly, the project reserved a big green area and made the architecture a part of the landscape from the ground up, and hidden under a slope.
The child care center is located between a grassy hill and large lawn. Its vertical wooden surfacesimply verticaltree-linedsegmentation, adding a fun element to nature.
The wooden path on the grass provides young parents and children a place to rest and enjoy the good feeling of being surrounded by mountains and to feel relaxed and happy. You can also see the Shenkeng elementary school chapel to the east.
Ramp, central children's playground, large lawn and the Shenkeng elementary schoolare the main element in the area. The elements respond to each other, with high and low elements balancing each other out, with all activities contained within the space.