Courtyard, in Chinese architecture, is not only a tradition of physical space, but also a core of emotion and communication. It helps people to keep cohesion of the family and strengthen the contacts with friends and relatives, and to connect nature and universe in a touchable way. Yet this heritage is today already an impossible dream for most of urban citizens.Anting is an urbanized suburban town near the boundary between northwestern Shanghai and Suzhou Huaqiao.
The kindergarten located in a new residential neighborhood to the south of Anting station of Metro line 11, is an early bird in the construction plan of a public facility compound. Although a tight site to house 15-classes within 7400sqm, we still want to provide this kindergarten a courtyard environment for children to perceive nature, to recognize society and to build up themselves with a memory of courtyard life.
Courtyards need enclosure of building units.
Following the leaning western border of the site, we organized the units in a setback “W” shape to earn the maximum sunlight from west, south and east, and we use Hexagon for the plan shape of the unit. The honeycomb composition fits better the leaning border, it provides more dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces with sense of concentration while diluting the axis monumentality of traditional four-sides courtyard.
We ended up with an irregular hexagonal unit for either classroom or courtyard. Three of the six sides were designed in equal to accommodate more flexible combination as per the needs of sunlight and functionality. After entering the gate, students and teachers will follow the zigzag corridors along the hexagon edges, go through the vestibule and the lobby, pass by different classes, with flowers and grasses in layers of courtyards, with bifurcating and merging paths before approaching their own classroom.
The collective activity in the classroom encircles the round column in the center of the room，while a team or individuals can use the protruding window spaces along the wall to read and write or to take care of their small plants. Every two classrooms have a shared courtyard space with direct indoor-outdoor connections.
Departing from their own courtyards, the kids can restart their journeys to other places including library, musical room, fine arts room, canteen, multifunction room, small farm and other classes in other courtyards. Students at 2nd and 3rd floors can also join the big playgrounds conveniently through two covered outdoor staircases from both east and west sides.
By connecting different interior and exterior spaces in various scales on the corridor paths, we make every outing of the kids an experience of touching “nature” and “society”. We believe that all these experiences of exploration, perceiving and communication would become part of their precious childhood memories in an unconscious and healthy way.
Structure： RC Frame, partial corridors in steel frame Exterior Material： White paint, Transparent and translucent insulated glass, Aluminum panels, Plastic wooden floorStructural and MEP Design: Jiangnan Architectural Design Institution庭院，在中国的建筑里，不仅仅是一种物理空间的传统，还是情感交流的中心。人们通过庭院维系一个家庭的凝聚力、增进亲友之间的交往、并得以用触手可及的方式与天地、与自然相通。而这对于今天生活在大城市的人来说，已经是一种妄想。安亭位于上海西北角与苏州花桥接壤的地方，这座幼儿园坐落在11号线安亭站南边的一片新社区中，是率先建造的公共建筑之一。7400平米的用地要容纳15个班是颇为紧张的。不过，我们还是想通过这次机会，为现代都市里的儿童设计一个有庭院的幼儿园，给他们留下关于庭院生活的情感和记忆，并通过庭院帮助他们认识自然、认识社会、塑造自己。庭院的营造需要建筑单元的围合，我们顺应场地西侧的斜向边界，将建筑群的平面布局规划成“W”形，加上自南向北的退台，最大限度地获得西、南、东三个方向的日光。经过研究，我们发现六边形单元体是适应这一群体形态的最佳选择，蜂巢状的组合能够更好地适应斜边的转折，其内部和外部空间更有活力和凝聚感，也能够消解传统四合院中正交轴线所产生的压力。最终形成的单元体是不规则的六边形，其中三个边等长，这使我们能够根据日照和功能的需要进行更加灵活的组合。园内的廊道沿六边形边缘布置，进入大门，学生和老师就沿着曲折的廊道行走，经过入口庭院和门厅，经过路径的分岔与合并，经过邻班的教室与重重院落的花草，抵达孩子们所在的班级。教室内的集中活动围绕中心的圆柱展开，临近外墙则有专门为孩子设计的凸窗空间，是他们阅读和照料小植物的场所。每一层每一间的教室都与室外的分班活动场地直接相连，两个班级分享一个活动庭院。从自己的庭院开始，孩子们可以出发去图书室、音乐室、美术室、游戏室、食堂、多功能厅、小小农场以及其它班级的庭院和教室，室外楼梯使二楼和三楼的孩子能够便捷地从自己的庭院加入到一楼大操场的活动中。通过精心的组织，我们将各种尺度的室内空间和庭院空间串联在路径上，使孩子们的每一次“外出”都能够通过庭院获得更多与“自然”和“社会”接触的机会。我们相信这些探索、发现和交流的经验，将以潜移默化的方式成为他们童年记忆的一部分。.