Following our recent coverage on Vo Trong Nghia Architects' US$4,000 S House, the Vietnamese firm offers yet another impressive sustainable project that suits the particular local climate and needs. Located in the country’s Đồng Nai Province, the Farming Kindergarten sports a huge green roof, a water-recycling and irrigation system, and is cooled passively.
The Farming Kindergarten measures 3,800 sq m (40,902 sq ft), and was built to serve up to 500 of the children of low-income factory workers based at an adjacent shoe factory. The factory is owned by the Pou Chen Corporation, which makes footwear for Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, and several other major footwear brands.
The two-story building's overall form is dominated by a triple-ring green roof that encloses three secure ground-level playgrounds. The green roof also serves as a playground (don't worry, there are large fences), and sports a 200 sq m (2,152 sq ft) vegetable garden used to teach the kids to grow their own greens.
The kindergarten's interior is kept cool with cross ventilation via ample operable windows and concrete louvers, in addition to the insulating effect of the large green roof. This combination is presumably effective as the building sports no air-conditioning despite the tropical climate. Waste water from the nearby factory is also recycled and routed for irrigation and use in the toilets, and a solar hot water heater produces warm water.
The Farming Kindergarten was constructed in 2013 at a cost of $500 per square meter, including all finishes and equipment, which Vo Trong Nghia Architects says is relatively cheap for such a building in Vietnam.