Loop Kindergarten
by SAKO Architects

| 23 comments
 

Beijing studio SAKO Architects used all the colours of the rainbow for the playgrounds, classrooms and roof garden of this doughnut-shaped kindergarten in Tianjin, China (+ slideshow).

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Led by Japanese architect Keiichiro Sako, SAKO Architects designed the Loop Kindergarten as a squashed circular volume where every room is curved and even the windows have rounded corners.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

A total of 18 shades make up the rainbow colour palette, which graduates around the building including across the ceilings and around the windows.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

The kindergarten is three storeys high with classrooms arounds its perimeter and playgrounds at its centre. These include an open-air deck on the first floor, while the ground floor contains a split-level indoor playground filled with colourful columns and tiered platforms.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Glass funnels bring light down onto the lower floor, creating three circular courtyards that can be used for different activities.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

A huge arch slices through the side of the building to create a grand entrance, where symmetrical staircases lead up to the first-floor courtyard. A circular lightwell is positioned directly above, bringing a shaft of light over the heads of anyone passing through.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Artificial grass covers the looping roof to create an extra play area for the children. Four outdoor staircases lead up to it, each coloured in a different hue.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

See more kindergartens on Dezeen, including one with rotating panels on the facade and one with pyramidal chimneys.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Photography is by Ruijing Photo.

Here's some more information from SAKO Architects:


This kindergarten is formed by curves. R-shaped windows with rounded corners are used to create the atmosphere of freedom and pleasant.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Each playroom on the 3rd floor faces towards to a balcony, with the staircase by which children can go up to the roof garden. Various colours are used on the walls, floors and handrails of the balconies; this is one of the main feature of this kindergarten.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Walking up to the 2nd floor through the public stairs at the main entrance there is a outdoor courtyard, with all of the classrooms facing towards it. The whole courtyard is in the visible range for most adults. This is is a wonderful space for children to play and enjoy the fresh air.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Also under the outdoor courtyard there is an indoor courtyard for multi-purpose uses. It has 3 rounded atriums connecting to the outdoor space on upper level for better natural lighting and for creating a indoor playing space for children in bad weather condition.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

The ceiling on each floor is in 18 different colours, with white louver boards under the ceiling. The colour changing can been seen through the gaps between the louver boards when walking in the corridor. Also there are 18 different colour columns in the courtyard, the children can use these colours to identify the location.

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Project Name: LOOP in Tianjin
Project Location: Tianjin, China
Project Type: Kindergarten

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Architect/s: Keiichiro SAKO, Yoko FUJII, Jing, Junya KAZUNO/ SAKO Architects
Lighting Design: Masahide Kakudate Lighting Architect & Associates,Inc.
Client: Sino-Ocean Land Holdings Limited

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects

Size: 3 stories
Gross floor area: 4,300 sqm
Design Period: 2009/06-2011/03
Construction Period: 2011/04-2012/07

Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects
First floor plan - click for larger image
Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects
Second floor plan - click for larger image
Loop Kindergarten in Tianjin by SAKO Architects
Cross section - click for larger image
  • Jasio

    Never seen something uglier.

    • Tie

      Loosen up, it’s for the kids.

  • Desk

    The whole town should have this feel. Seems like a gem set in a depressing landscape. China has really ravaged its ecosystems.

    • thomaswensing

      To offer some nuance, I don’t think people in the West are in a position to judge China on ravaging its ecosystems. A better way of debating this could be to think of viable alternatives to our current economic and social systems which lead to these dystopian landscapes.

  • Stu

    The education system in China, starting from pre-school through high school, is vastly superior to that of the US, and getting better— another reason we’re going to wind up second best at best.

  • andrea

    A first year student could do better… first year of law.

  • John

    Michael Gove would love this.

  • JeffK

    Cute! Kids would love it.

  • Jasper

    WTF, an ugly spaceship has landed.

  • Lorenzo

    Wow! I can t believe this is actually happening! I stayed in the condos behind for a few days, hosted through couchsurfing by an amazing couple during a bike trip there. They were complaining how they were promised a kindergarten by the developer but never got it – glad to see it happened, how fun!

    Sometimes shape doesn’t matter as long as the function is there.

    Gonna send them a link to this post to double check along with a mail as I know they’ve had a baby since!

    If I’m not mistaken this is Tianjin Province, but the exact location is Tanggu, just across the strait from Korea.

  • Lorenzo

    Just saw how the sign in front says ‘Tanggu primary school’ :)

  • Sasa

    This building looks friendly. I think that’s a great kindergarten.

  • ovidiu

    So how does the Panopticon work with child psychology?

  • Zev

    The perfect Panopticon, it does fit into the political context very well.

    • Hermann Tringle

      Why is it that whenever a Chinese project is showcased, irrelevant comments about “the political context” are posted. This is a design project and should be judged on its design qualities. And yes, toddlers require supervision.

    • James

      Do you actually know how the Panopticon works? Where it’s from and its influence on prisons?

  • http://www.maidanconsultants.com Bander R.R. AlRomaih

    That is a great example of an extraordinary kindergarten.

    I am interested in further details, like how did they deal with colours and shapes and their effect on education?

    Bander R.R, GM at Maidan Architects
    Riyadh KSA

  • andys

    Ask the kids :p

  • Richa

    Any chance I could get to see the setting out drawing for this building? The curves are wonderfully executed.

  • Tony Random

    Psychedelic prison?

  • http://miaoyewebdesign.com Miao

    It makes me want to go back to my childhood and move to Tianjin. This is the best kindergarten I have ever seen.

  • Jamil T

    Looks like it was inspired by Fort Boyard.

  • http://www.earlyyearsresources.co.uk EYR

    Fun and quirky design which I'm sure will encourage imagination and creativity in children.