KAI Early Years

  • area / size 56,000 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Location Bangalore, India,
  • Education Design Architects designed the KAI Early Years focusing on creating an impact through environment in Bangalore, India.

    Kai Early Years is located in the heart of Whitefield, an urban neighborhood in Bengaluru that is home to a vibrant community of well-heeled residents hailing from all parts of the world; the resultant demographic mix has given rise to a need for suitably metropolitan educational and day-care facilities for Whitefield’s youngest residents.

    Applying time-tested principles and research findings in early childhood education, Kai Early Years has been conceptualized as an open and welcoming built environment spread over 1.8 acres. The school’s founder Saad Sait’s legacy of 35 years as a Montessori practitioner, finds expression in the design through the creation of a learning sanctuary that fosters children’s boundless imagination as well as developmental needs. Kai Early Years, currently India’s largest early childhood campus, comprises of a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces such as play and interaction spaces, a performance arena, dramatics & expression studio, a creative arts zone, music and movement studio and several others – all connected through a fluid circulation pattern and interpreted in a child-friendly manner. Under the ambit of its second phase of development, the campus will house research spaces for teachers and academicians, as well.

    Pioneering research in the field of early years’ education establishes the importance of one’s environment as their third teacher – Kai’s design scheme draws from this philosophy to adopt a student-centric approach to create an environment that promotes freedom of movement, sensory exploration, and self-directed relationship building as the foundation of preschool education. The objective – of enabling and encouraging unfettered learning – takes cues from the free and unconditioned minds of children, which has been translated by Education Design Architects through an amoebic building footprint. the organic structure is split into two independently functioning departments with a central open space manifesting as the ‘nucleus’; these structures comprise of the early childhood centre towards the Southern end of the site, and the community centre towards the Northern front – a large shaded play court between these two buildings forms the nucleus, the functional as well as social heart of the campus.

    The built form of the dual-storied structures is devoid of sharp lines and stark profiles, favoring curved profiles to create the primary envelope for the interconnected ‘learning pods’ within. This fluidity of form as well as function is reflected on the building exterior, a playful timber cladding characterizing the façade, its undulating profile highlighting the amoebic building form as well as forming subtle cues for movement within the campus. A distinct white pergola with louvered edges forms the secondary envelope to the built form at the ground level, loosely following the building line and creating free-flowing circulation spaces below. The building façade, pergola profile, and membrane roofing over the play court – all strongly adhere to the organic style of architecture, representing play & movement. This is in tune with the dynamic methodology that lends Kai Early Years its pedagogical distinction.

    The indoor design scheme adopts a timber and white plaster material palette to creative a warm and congruous spatial experience, with minimal physical or visual barriers. While the spaces flow into each other, free-standing acoustic partitions and distinct ceiling and wall patterns mark the boundaries of each zone – building visual recognition skills amongst the students without creating boxed-in spaces. These flow into each other, and the various zones are distinguished by means of flooring, ceiling patterns and acoustic divider screens.

    Architect: Education Design Architects
    Design Team: Mugdha Thakurdesai, Shanti Jamoh, Abhishek Chopra, Sagar Vijaynidhi
    Photography: Andre Fanthome