Challenge Design's metal-clad kindergarten folds around a courtyard - architecture and design

Challenge Design's metal-clad kindergarten folds around a courtyard



Metal shingles cover the folding forms of the Park Legend Kindergarten in Chengdu, China, built by Challenge Design to mimic the peaks of nearby mountains.
The kindergarten is surrounded by a small green area in the busy urban landscape of Chengdu's Tianfu New Area.

Challenge Design wanted to avoid creating too much enclosure, so designed open, multifunctional spaces intended to have a strong connection to nature.
"Strolling within the complex, people will feel as though they are surrounded by real mountains and forests, said the architecture studio.

Challenge Design wanted to subvert the idea that a kindergarten building should be simple and colourful by using more unusual geometric forms. This decision was based on the Gestalt psychological theory that children are able to quickly simplify complex objects. The palette has been kept pale and largely monochrome, with greys, silvers and whites maximising the amount of light in the building.

"White reflects all light, magnifying contrasts and helping to showcase various colours, lights and shadows," said Challenge Design.
"We have designed the buildings in white to give prominence to the buildings and create a canvas for nature. Both the natural environment here and the buildings will enhance each other's beauty."

The roughly C-shaped plan wraps around a central courtyard, open to the south where a small walkway at first-floor level connects the two sides of the structure.
To create a close engage...
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