Qkids English Center

  • area / size 3,229 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Location Xiamen, China,
  • Crossboundaries designed the Qkids English Center as an extension to the school’s current offerings in Xiamen, China.

    Crossboundaries developed and tailored the first off-line English Center for Qkids to an existing space, to fulfill a multitude of requirements and to match closely the Qkids brand image and vision. The project site is located in Xiamen’s Siming District.

    Diverse functions had to be accommodated – for different audiences, at various times of the week – Qkids students attending classes mainly on weekends, siblings, their parents and caretakers, prospect students and passersby exploring the bookstore or getting information about the Qkids brand.

    Crossboundaries started to re-organize all necessary functions based on the required degree of privacy and usage time. Integrated functions such as resting, play and display, were grouped as public areas (with less need of privacy) and re-arranged along the window front of the original shop. These public areas were given an improved visibility to engage and invite, representing the values and open mindedness of the Qkids Brand. Private areas (less visible from the outside, in the back of the space) were assigned to teaching spaces, office and supporting areas.

    The main feature was developed, the blue spine, – a long sculptural body – running through the core of the narrow space, the blue interface holding everything together and allowing at the same time for connections and modular inserts.

    This large cubic wall grid is built as a steel structure, with public function areas inserted, in form of vertical and horizontally stacked wooden modules, containing the more open reception area and clearer defined break out modules that can be shared by parents and students alike.
    The upper modules became an exploration world designed solely for the little ones, within the cubic grid, in which children can climb up and engage in playful activities during breaks or whilst waiting together with parents for their siblings to finish class. Within the steel structure, there are cavities, that kids can crawl up and into, or from where they can catch a quick sight of what’s going on in one of the classrooms.

    Visual connections remain across the center’s different functional areas and allow for a stimulating spatial experience. Throughout, the relationship between inside and outside, especially between public areas on the glass front and its outside surroundings is kept fluid.

    A dividable reading zone, that can be accessed either from the main front entrance via the reception, or by the secondary entrance, includes a small display. It can be used by both, Qkids students and their parents as a waiting area and is defined more as a “members only” zone.

    The Qkids English Center’s teaching zone in the back consists of three regular classrooms and one multi-functional one. All of them are configured in the same way and provide a neutral, plain environment in contrast to the outside.

    The flexible usage of space within given limitations, facilitated by modular and movable elements, has become a central theme and a strength in several Crossboundaries’ school design projects. It was yet again tailored to the requirements of the Qkids English Center, that is used differently at various times of the week, that needs space for activities with different privacy requirements and that becomes a manifestation for both, the Qkids Brand’s offline and online teaching experiences.

    Architect: Crossboundaries
    Photography: BAI Yu