Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam features curvy classrooms and colourful corridors

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Walls with built-in flowerpots and a staircase that functions as a play space both feature at this Seoul kindergarten by local architect Jungmin Nam (+ slideshow).

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

Located at the heart of a high-rise housing development in the South Korean capital's Seocho District, the five-storey-high Flower Kindergarten was designed to provide a colourful landmark for its homogenous surroundings.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

Jungmin Nam and his studio OA Lab wanted to offer children a variety of welcoming spaces, alongside plenty of opportunities to interact with nature.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

"Most of the kindergartens in the city have poor architectural design, reflecting economic values, regulations and small lot sizes in the highly dense city," explained the architect.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

"This project is about providing a dynamic physical environment for education as well as interactions between children and nature," he said.



One of the things he did to achieve this was create corridors that also function as learning and play spaces. These start on the ground level and continue all the way up to the third floor.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

A staircase winds around the perimeter wall to connect these spaces. It includes a slide as well as stairs, and also frames a series of more intimate play areas.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

"The stair itself becomes a playground," Nam explained. "The space created below and above the stair is utilised as a children's play den at children's scale."

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

The building has seven storeys in total. The four main floors accommodate classrooms, while the two basement storeys contain a canteen, staff facilities and parking, and the uppermost level is a screened roof terrace.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

The classroom floors each contain three rooms, all with curved corners, as well as the flexible corridor spaces. These are identified by different colours, painted across the ceilings and window frames rather than the walls.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

"There are subtle difference between ceiling, wall and window frames, thus the kindergarten's built environment encourage children's colour sensitivity," said Nam.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

Externally, the building is clad with Crema Bella, a type of cream-toned limestone.

Square windows in four different sizes are dotted across all four facades. There is also a window running alongside the staircase that gradually climbs up around the walls, so passersby can glimpse the activities taking place within.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

"The building's unique location and shape will provide a local landmark in the homogeneous neighbourhood, where every apartment building looks the same," said the architect.

"Children can identify their own classroom from the street," he suggested.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

The built-in flowerpots are located in clusters near the base of the walls. Formed of glass-fibre-reinforced concrete, they attach can be affixed to a surface like tiles, creating hollows in which plants can grow.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

There are 230 of these hollows in total. Along with the roof terrace and a sunken courtyard, they are intended to help children learn about nature.

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam

Rainwater harvesting is integrated into the design, creating a source of water for irrigated the greenery. There are also photovoltaic panels on the roof, providing a renewable source of energy.

Photography is by Kyungsub Shin.


Project credits:

Architect: OA-Lab – Jungmin Nam
Project team: Byungsoo Kim, Jungsoo Seo, Keunbo Yang, Woongjin Byun, Soohyun Kim, Sung-joon Chae
Structural engineer: Thekujo
Mechanical electrical engineer: Bow ENG
Construction: Yemi Construction Inc.
Client: Yewon Kindergarten

Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Exploded isometric diagram – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Massing diagram – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Site plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Lower basement floor plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Basement floor plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
First floor plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Third floor plan – click for larger image
Flower Kindergarten by Jungmin Nam
Roof plan – click for larger image
  • SteveLeo

    Nice of them to provide urinals along the street-level walls.

  • steph

    Beautiful interiors! Lately so many of the kindergarten designs featured on this site have fallen short – harsh angles and cold white spaces are not kid-friendly environments.

    The pops of colour and children-sized play areas fit perfectly into the larger building scheme. And finally, a staircase slide that doesn’t look like it will cause tears!

    • Doubtful Dodger

      I don’t agree and I don’t think it is necessary for children to be placed in clichéd kindergartens just to appease inferior tastes and anaemic sensibilities.

  • Meme

    I like it very much, but think that some stairs aren’t safe enough. The facade plant places are good idea.