Fiona Bao, Liang Xiao, Zuo Zhina, Chang Shihua, John Chan, Enoch Chu, Krystal Lung, Jolena He, CY Lau & Manfred Yuen
Shenzhen, China

It’s a kindergarten, as well as a playground

Designers have the tendency to design building and spaces for children as adult but have often neglected the children.

From 2016 to 2018, Groundwork was commissioned by the Hong Kong government to draft the guideline for the public playgrounds in Hong Kong. Within these 24 months of study, we have carried out on-site research on existing successful local and international playgrounds, and have involved the public participating at our workshops so that we may extract their opinions on their ideal playgrounds directly.

From our research, we have learned that:

1) Children make friends easily at public playgrounds.
2) Children prefer natural materials over colourful synthetic materials at playgrounds.
3) Children enjoy exploration and face challenges.
4) Children are emotionally attached with spaces that inspires them
5) Children require opportunities to play alone.
6) Children love the natural environments – sunlight and shadows, wind, rain and earth.

Designing a kindergarten required us to respond to these needs.

We are designing the seminal social platform for children. A kindergarten is where children were introduced to concepts such as discipline, etiquette and self-awareness. The kindergarten is a playground, yet it is a learning ground. Thus, we shall establish different spatial formalities within the same school: 1st floor begin the “fun” and explorative space, while 2nd-4th floors were much more formal.

The joy of exploration
The semi open-air interior corridors shall be the key social and play spaces for children between classes. None of the corridors are straight, as the all of the walls are either curved and angled, creating much more socializing opportunities for the children and the teachers.

Light and Shadow
Light and shadows enriches the school naturally, and they are particularly provocative when rendered against minimal surfaces; i.e. simple walls without much colours. Thus, all of the walls on the first floor are white; all of the walls on 2nd to 4th floors(classrooms) are timber and concrete.


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