Lion International Kindergarten

  • area / size 5,381 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Location Guangzhou, China,
  • VMDPE completed the Lion International Kindergarten for inspiring imagination in young kids in Guangzhou, China.

    The Lion International Kindergarten Project is located in an old residential community in the Tianhe District of Guangzhou. Surrounded by old-fashioned houses, the community itself lacks a venue for children’s activities. Children here are in desperate need of a comfortable and safe environment to learn and play.

    The project sits in an old granary with an area of barely 500sqm, and presents multiple contradictions between functionality, spatial distribution and environment adequacy. Through conscious design, VMPDE breaks away with the restrictions generated by the surrounding areas and the space available, to create a healthy and sustainable environment for children to grow.

    Following international education standards, the front was divided into two levels: the first floor, which holds carpentry and dance classrooms; and the second floor, which houses art and science classrooms. Such logical partitions highlight different interaction areas according to the concept of STEAM’s multidisciplinary integrated education. Furthermore, the rear side of the building was transformed into a free exploration space containing the main stairs, a slide, reading stations, an open cooking classroom, a role playing area among other segmented and intersected areas.

    Moreover, the door on the first floor opens to create an area useful for small shows or outdoor group activities. The design of flexible spaces grants specific functionality to determined areas when needed, thus enriching the educational content available during early childhood. This case in particular was completely designed to improve the concept of early childhood education spaces in China which often lack specific features or clear functionality. Rich indoor activity areas not only help to induce the desire to explore, but also grant children freedom of choice, promoting subjective exploration based on their own hobbies.

    The designer selected children friendly materials for every detail of the project. Furniture is custom-made according to the height of every age group. Power outlets and switches are positioned at heights that children cannot reach. VMDPE even provides a solution for the lack of outdoor spaces in children’s educational institutions, by expanding functions of the originally small courtyard.

    Taking into account that water, sand and stone are the natural elements that children like most, a sand pool and a climbing wall were designed outside the building. This caters to the growing needs of children of different ages. The Lion International Kindergarten Project truly embodies the development of young children. Through rationality and thoughtful design, the core of an international educational space for children’s development has been achieved.

    Architect: VMDPE
    Design Team: Vinci Chan, Dio Chang, Lucy Lu
    Photography: Chao Zhang