- Design Team: Hankun Lin, Shi Yin, Qiaosheng Zhan, Yuanjing Yang, Zongpeng Zhang, Lili Huang, Tian Qiu, Fangjie Guo, Feiya Huang, Shan Hai, Zheng Li
- Client: One Foundation
- Collaborators: Sichuan Gaodi Engineering Design Consulting Co. Ltd.
- City: Ya’an
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. Daping Village, located in Tianquan County, Ya’an City of Sichuan Province, is a traditional village of farming practice with a moist and rainy clime. The Daping Village Kindergarten had its site planned near the Daping Village Central Primary School, whose separation from the ambient village prompted us to further reflect on the design vision— It is hoped that the kindergarten can break the boundaries, carry forward the village ethos, and reshape the emotional bond with the hometown.
Site. The kindergarten is sited in a multi-tiered tableland with as large as a 4-meter elevation difference between the south and north. We divided the space into two levels, the upper connecting the cottages and the lower linking the fields.
“Homeland”. The architectural layout of the kindergarten regenerates the forming process of a traditional village, using the “village prototype house” to constitute a living and activity space as a “home” for individuals, and clustering several of these “houses” into a “village”. Each opening between the structures points to the remoteness beyond the fields. A round square is encircled at the center of the “village”, purposed as the venue for group activities of the kindergarten and a shared space for community events. The annular corridor adopts a lightweight architectural language that enables fun experiences both on rainy and sunny days.
The kindergarten integrates into the fields, forming a new landscape with the rustic countryside. The iconic “homeland” at the end of the alley makes the walk to the kindergarten nothing short of a ritual.
Loop. A loop connects all the dots in the kindergarten site, along which one can “view the fields in every step”. Starting from the circular mini-square and passing through the gentle ramp, a sandpit and paddling pool are enclosed at mid-height, while a track running through the veranda in the elevated floor sits at the lower end of the ramp as the playground on rainy days. The outdoor staircases lift the loop back to the circular mini-square. Grounds in the loop use different flooring materials, fitting the needs of child development and encouraging the kids to explore while playing games. One corner of the site keeps the original terraced field as a botanical garden.
Boundary. The boundary creates division and interaction. The entrance is designed with walls in enriched brick red, the village alleys are lined by white hollowed-out enclosure walls, and the enclosure walls bordering the fields are no higher than guard fences. The fusing boundaries turn the kindergarten into a sanctuary for village kids to learn about their homeland culture and nature, as well as a link of village bonding and community activities.