MAD Architects blended old with new last time it designed a kindergarten and the firm is doing the same again with its aptly-named Courtyard Kindergarten. The project transforms an 18th Century Chinese courtyard into a kindergarten topped by a play area on the roof.
The Courtyard Kindergarten is located in a traditional Beijing siheyuan courtyard dating back to 1725. MAD's "floating" rooftop will offer lots of space for the children to run around and features slides, ramps and stairs. It's also arranged into raised "hills" and flat "plains" to make play more interesting for the kids.
MAD envisions the kindergarten's ground-floor interior as an open-plan layout containing classroom, library, theater, and a gymnasium. Generous glazing ensures lots of natural light inside and it will serve 400 children between the ages of two and five.
Additionally, in a nice touch, the design takes three very old trees on the site into consideration and leaves them undisturbed. The project also incorporates a building on the site dating back to the 1990s.
"There is a saying in old Beijing when children are naughty: if you go three days without being punished, the roof will cave in," says MAD boss Ma Yansong. "My ideal kindergarten is not a theme park, or a place of shelter. It should be objective and real, but go beyond reality and provide some space for the unknown and imagination."
The Courtyard Kindergarten is currently under construction. MAD expects it to be completed and in use by late 2019.
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