Lead Architects: John
Design Team: Sijun Zhu, Wuyi Lai, Wei Guo, Fei Feng, Xiangyi Ming, Huangwei Yang, Su Zhang, Haosheng Zhang, Endong Zhang, Shunbing Xie, Zehui Lin, Xulun Yang
Project Managers: Guo, Jinrui Liu, Qiong Feng
Structure Adviser: Chengliang Liu
Electromagnetically Design: TEA
Landscape Design: IA L&M Landscape
Text description provided by the architects. XinMeng · Montessori Kindergarten is located on the coastline of Xiamen Island. The original structure resembled a liner. It had limited space and heavily relied on artificial lights, which was against the common expectations of kindergartens.
There must be light!
Sunlight, soil, and grass are all essential spatial elements to children's growth. Out of considerations of structural stability and costs, L&M has kept the entire structure and created an atrium running vertically through three stories. Such design guarantees that all classrooms receive natural light from both sides.
Wandering in the Woods!
Taking advantage of the original structure, the atrium transforms the "liner" into a "woodland."
Columns and beams immediately become trees and bridges. Continuous stairs and slides spiral up around the "trees", connecting and activating spaces. "Treehouses" provide private spaces for children to read and do handwork.
The kindergarten basically adopts light wood color. Wide application of ultra-white transparent glue-clad safety glass creates a pure, fair and quiet environment. Arc chamfers instead of sharp corners help minimize potential hazards. Children can move freely and safely.
The third floor provides a combination of indoor and outdoor activity areas connected by a plastic track. The track is an extension of the atrium and separates out various thematic activity areas.
The kindergarten thoughtfully considers the needs of children at 2-6. The facilities are benchmarked against the needs of children at 2-6, and distinguish between those for children at 1.5-3 and those for children at 3-6.
Classrooms adopt soft colors and materials, creating a home-like space where child can fully express their potentiality.
The design of the kindergarten has been drawing on the Montessori concepts and principles. Besides safety, we give freedom back to children.