(Mis)Conception: The site to build a new international kindergarten is located at the corner of a brand new 40-storey tower residential development. This unique site condition gave us inspiration to “express” the full potentials of it. We generated various massing strategies, aiming at capturing this seemingly plausible site characteristic…
Concept: Only then we stumbled across the phrase from《禮記》( the Book of Rites), 475 BC - 221 BC:
“玉不琢，不成器；人不學，不知道” “As a jade without chiseling will not become a useful object, a man without learning will not know the way”
Immediately we knew we had it wrong. We repented.
We decided on the most non-expressive (almost mundane) massing to reflect the true spirit of the site. Like an unpolished jade stone, what is seen outside is not necessarily what you are about to experience inside…
At the urban scale, we provide a subtle yet clear gesture to contrast the expressive façade of the towering residential blocks behind, providing an “Urban Socle” for these towers, or a “Silent Block.”
At the building scale, the punched square windows open up a dialogue between the exterior and interior. They allow the children to see the outside world at their own eye-levels! Each one is a small aperture for them to frame the outside world.
At the interior and furniture scale, we abandoned the double loaded corridor/classroom layout with corridor-free roaming space instead. We have developed a furniture system that could be freely combined and to latch onto the bent metal conduits along the perimeter walls.