Xiayu Kindergarten

Xiayu Kindergarten, Shanghai, China, Atelier Deshaus
Project year: 2004
Address: 303 Qingzhou Rd, Qingpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, SHANGHAI, China
Latitude/Longitude: 31.150922,121.137506


Xiayu Kindergarten lies on the edges of the Qingpu New Town. In large scale region character, Qingou is one of the several sub-districts around Shanghai, which still preserve some traditional buildings. Since Qingpu New Town was basically built up from farmland and it is far away from the old town, Xiayu Kindergarten can hardly be influenced by the style of local traditional buildings. The traditional urban feeling is inexistent as the area around site is vacant. The elevated highway from the eastern side is the potential source of exhausted gas and noise. At the same time, it provides the possibilities of viewing the building of various eyesight, altitude and speed in process of passing by. The fine landscape is provided by the river which also creates thoughts about the way of ensuring the children’s security and the figure of building by the river.

When designing the Xiayu Kindergarten, architects tried to emphasize the difference between inside and outside. They moderately isolated the inside and outside of the building by conforming the boundary, thereby create the difference between them. The inner region was carefully put under protection, while the outer environment is filtrated.

Inside the kindergarten there are 15 classes that each one have its’ own living room, dining room, bedroom and outdoor playground. Architects found a soft curve form could suit the site better than straight lines, after they placed all the functions as a linear bar in the narrow site. So they followed a separation of the 15 classrooms and teacher offices into two curve clusters that are wrapped by solid and void material respectively. A painting finished wall clarifies all the classrooms while office and special classrooms are fenced by elevated Channel glass.

When designing the class unit, architects arranged all the living rooms on the first floor with outdoor playgrounds and managed to leave brilliant colored bedroom boxes on second floor. To emphasize floating and uncertain feeling they detached the colored boxes’ floor from the roof of first floor. This uncertainty and isolation on proper scale led Atelier Deshaus to a seemed random convergence condition that produces spatial tension. Raised wooden walkways link every three bedrooms and create a friendly and kind atmosphere like a bedroom village.

Architecture volume is scattered by the tall trees dotted in those courtyards, while final architectural figure is full of vigor because of the trees. The architecture together with the tall trees bring out the best in each other and cohabit harmoniously in the narrow riverside.

Text description provided by the architects.

Project team: Chen Yifeng, Liu Yichun, Zhuang Shen, Fan Minji, Tang Yu
Site area: 17070m²
Area: 6328m²

Contributed by Atelier Deshaus