Kofa Kindergarten
Su Zhewei / Arch Exist

Kofa Kindergarten: A Forest of Light and Shadow

Groundwork Architects & Associates Ltd. as Architects

KOFA KINDERGARTEN is a school renovation project located in 1st Zhuxiang Road Futian District, Shenzhen, which covers an area of more than 3600 square meters. Its predecessor is Xiangshan Kindergarten which was built in the 1990s. The functional area in Kofa Kindergarten has 12 standard classrooms, plus a fitness room, a Gourmand workshop, a multi-functional reading hall, an immersive science and technology museum, a circular runway, a unique sand pool, and a LEGO workshop etc.

photo_credit Su Zhewei / Arch Exist
Su Zhewei / Arch Exist

As the starting point of children’s education, kindergarten is an important foundation to groom children’s aesthetics and creativity during their learning and growing process. The main purpose of our design is therefore focused on creating a safe and open space which enables our students to explore, seek and make full use of the architecture environment to inspire their creativity and imagination.

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Interplay of Geometries

This is a renovation project. The old school structure was originally made up with different geometric elements, we first enhanced the existing elements based on the original space. The second step is to give each of these elements different functionalities and connect them with stairs. We highlighted the three most basic geometries (triangle, square and circle) in different spaces and with different positions, and symbolized them for establishing the basic element for kindergarten. Since kindergarten is the first social arena for children, we therefore think it is best to apply simple geometry to inspire their concept of space.

photo_credit Su Zhewei / Arch Exist
Su Zhewei / Arch Exist

A Forest of light and shadows

We transformed the courtyard and outdoor space into a forest full of invisible and abstract light and shadow, hoping our children could be inspired and feel the mysteries of nature while wandering in this space, and could explore the relationship of nature and life through sunshine, moonlight and starry night.

photo_credit Su Zhewei / Arch Exist
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Celebrating negative spaces

We greatly appreciate the proprietors sharing and approval of our architectural philosophy in this project. As most kindergartens are full of colors, we do the opposite, with white color and simple lines to fill the space. This simplicity, on one hand, can create thousands of dynamic flowing scenes with the light and shadow floating around the architecture. Children and teachers, on the other hand, will project their infinite creativity without limitation.

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Furniture is all made with natural materials, with white color and wood grain. Growing up with natural materials has a positive impact for children’s future psychological and physiological development. Besides, light and shadow can be illustrated on the white surface.

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Children are easily attracted to many interesting things around them. Childlike concepts therefore become the core principle of our architectural design. Through the architecture shape, materials, and lighting design, the feeling of children's innocence and simplicity can be thoroughly reflected. As our key design elements, light and shadow connect different functional areas into a complete harmony. The center of the kindergarten is an open reading hall, the top is a unique skylight composed of a geometric aluminium plate, light and shadow wandering around with the change of time. It becomes a floating artwork with children within, giving this space an unlimited vitality.

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CLIENT \ Kofa Kindergarten
COMPLETION DAY \ December  2020
COVERED FLOOR AREA \ 4500 sq.m
ADDRESS \ No. 1, Zhuxiang 2nd Road, Futian District, Shenzhen
DESIGNER \ Groundwork Architects & Associates Ltd.
PHOTOS \ Fiona Bao@ Groundwork,  Su Zhewei@Arch Exist
CONTRACTOR \ Shenzhen Pangu Space Design Engineering Co., Ltd.
CONTACT \ communication@groundworkarchitect.com
INSTAGRAM \ @groundwork_architects
WEBSITE \ www.groundworkarchitect.com

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