Xian County Sunshine Kindergarten

XIAN COUNTY SUNSHINE KINDERGARTEN

People's Architecture Office

© Yumeng Zhu

CATEGORY
Kindergarten

PHOTOGRAPHS
Yumeng Zhu

LOCATION
Cangzhou, China

AREA
2165 m²

YEAR
2020

DESIGN PRINCIPALS
Zhe He, James Shen, Feng Zang

STRUCTURAL DESIGN
Fengbo Yu

STEAM SPACE PROJECT FUNDER
Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation

DESIGN TEAM
Yibo Wang, Anouchka Van Driel, Kim Dahyun, Yirou Lin

PROJECT LEADERS
Ming Kong, Jialing Xu

© Yumeng Zhu

Sunshine Kindergarten is a progressive school that offers innovative learning and STEAM curriculum to a disadvantaged rural community in Hebei, China.

The project upgrades and expands the facilities of an existing school that was founded in 2004.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

The design of the school encourages early learners to feed their curiosity and engage in creative exploration at an extremely formative period in their lives.

The design introduces a covered walkway in the form of a loop that links new learning spaces to pre-existing ones. Disparate elements of the original school are woven together as a unified whole.

The loop becomes a social condenser where students mix and interact with intersecting spaces and programs. Also connected to the loop is a new multipurpose hall that serves as a central column-less social space.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

A flexible, informal learning space, the loop encourages self-directed exploration. 

The area under the loop supports activities that require more space, such as building large structures out of foam blocks.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

This space can also be transformed into imaginary environments for role-playing such as a market street with food carts, and it can serve as an indoor play area when the weather is poor.

Such activity is naturally led by the interests of each individual.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

In this way, space takes on the role of the ‘third teacher’ by supporting self-directed learning and helping to lighten the workload of teachers.

The Sunshine Kindergarten includes areas for large and small performances, a range of playscapes, as well as classrooms set up for traditional teaching.

The design incorporates ways to connect students to the real world through experience-based learning.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

The school has indoor and outdoor gardens for students to learn from nature.

Two STEAM classrooms are designed with hands-on activities in mind.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

There are kitchen and woodworking facilities and spaces that support activities for art, engineering, and astronomy.

A mobile STEAM corner allows teachers the ability to bring such activities to different places in the school.

To help students build confidence and learn self-reliance, the school is designed to the scale of young children.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

A mini outdoor stage structure, tree house, and greenhouse are intimately sized for early learners.

Small nooks in classrooms allow for personal space and focused activities.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

And appropriately-scaled furniture and shelving provide tools and materials that are easily within the reach of young learners, encouraging independence.

The design nurtures social interaction and creates a cohesive learning community through an interconnected campus of diverse spaces and programs.

© Yumeng Zhu
© Yumeng Zhu

By strategically incorporating spaces and tools for autonomous play and development, the design aims to cultivate lifelong learners of tomorrow.


site plan
plan


before and after renovation_field
before and after renovation_courtyard
before and after renovation_courtyard
before and after renovation_corridor


before and after renovation_classroom
generation process GIF
tree house axonometric
corridor analysis
green house axonometric
stage axonometric
perspective section
functional analysis diagram


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