Vo Trong Nghia's Farming Kindergarten
has a vegetable garden on its looping roof

| 16 comments

This Vietnam kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia Architects features a knot-shaped roof with a vegetable garden on top and three protected courtyard playgrounds (+ slideshow).

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

Named Farming Kindergarten, the preschool is located in Dong Nai, just outside Ho Chi Min City. With facilities for up to 500 pupils, it was designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for children whose parents work at the neighbouring shoe factory.



Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

Despite a tight budget, the Vietnamese architects wanted the building to become a prototype for sustainable school design, where children can learn how to grow their own food.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

"Vietnam, historically an agricultural country, is facing changes as it moves to a manufacturing-based economy, taking its toll on the environment," said the studio, whose projects also include experimental low-maintenance dwellings and a thatched bamboo bar.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

"Rapid urbanisation deprives Vietnamese children of green lands and playgrounds, thus relationship with nature. Farming Kindergarten is a challenge to counter these issues."

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

The team designed a two-storey school with a knot-shaped plan that loops around to frame the outline of three courtyard playgrounds.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

The surface of the roof is covered in grass and plants to create an extra garden. It slopes down to the ground at two ends to allow easy access, then rises up over two levels of classrooms.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

"As the roof lowers to the courtyard it provides access to the upper level and vegetable gardens on top – the place where children learn the importance of agriculture and recover connection to nature," said Vo Trong Nghia Architects.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

The kindergarten's rigid structure was built using economical materials that were readily available, including concrete, bricks and tiles.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

The knotted shape of the plan allowed classrooms to be arranged in sequence on both floors, accessed via corridors that trace around the building's inner perimeter.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

Windows on both external and courtyard-facing walls offer natural lighting and cross ventilation throughout the building.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

"As a result the kindergarten is operated without air conditioners in the classrooms, despite being located in a harsh tropical climate," said the firm.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

The outer walls are shaded behind concrete louvres that encourage the growth of climbing plants, while the green roof above serves as a form of insulation.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

Other sustainability initiative include the use of solar power to heat water, and the recycling of waste water from the factory to irrigate greenery and flush toilets.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia

Aerial photography is by Gremsy. All other photography is by Hiroyuki Oki.


Project credits:

Architect Firm: Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Principal architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Takashi Niwa, Masaaki Iwamoto
Architects: Tran Thi Hang, Kuniko Onishi
Contractor: Wind and Water House JSC
Client: Pou Chen Vietnam
Green building consultant: Melissa Merryweather
CFD analysis: Environment Simulation Inc.

Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia
Site plan – click for larger image
Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia
First floor plan – click for larger image
Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia
Section – click for larger image
Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia
Continuous section – click for larger image
Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia
Sustainability diagram – click for larger image
  • WOW! That is awesome! I love it!

  • Chris MacDonald

    Impressive. Love it!

  • Paulex

    Happy children. Well done!

  • CHARLES_GARRETT

    You know architecture hits the spot when it makes you excited for future generations :,)

  • Thao Ho

    What a beautiful and meaningful building! I hope they continue to build many more astonishing projects like this one.

  • dick_c

    Nice. The roof looks like it could double as a steeplechase course.

    • dick_c

      So, I just read at a previous post, “‘Looks like’ is the lowest kind of criticism.” For the record, I’m not criticizing at all.

  • DaBronxY

    Looks like fun to explore.

  • daxd

    It’s a bit like the Fuji kindergarten on steroids. That’s not a negative comment at all though, this is an amazing project. These guys are really killing it in Vietnam right now. I wish school boards worldwide could all see this project to understand that they can still have great architecture on a budget.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This is a great concept, from the vegetated roof to the means of controlling the students. The only two low spots I see are the courtyard fenestration and the lack of multiple exits from the classrooms. Both of those can be fixed on the next project, though.

  • Emma

    Beautiful, inspired exteriors but uninspired classrooms design. Brightly coloured furniture doesn’t disguise the lack of thought about the interiors where children will spend most of their time.

  • www.d-ark.dk

    Love the fact that this project has gone beyond “just” being about sustainable solutions for the building itself, but also has become about the Vietnamese agricultural history and bringing into an educational context. Furthermore I like the fact that the project also manages to incorporate some of the bigger topics when talking sustainability namely greening the cities and urban farming.

    Terrific project, well done!

  • labrat

    Cool.

  • Francesca Luciano

    Really great. Thanks for sharing!

  • Raymond Tan-Wijaya

    Well executed!

  • Raymond Tan-Wijaya

    Well executed!