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July 1, 2024

Hangzhou West Coast Kindergarten: Stacked Blocks

The West Coast Kindergarten is located in the Liangzhu area to the northwest of Hangzhou City. Its plot has a narrow rectangular shape directly facing the main street and adjacent to the West Coast retail street.  

     CLOU architects’ design employed a strategy akin to building blocks, where each classroom serves as a module. Through layering and stacking, the architectural floor area is significantly condensed, thereby freeing up limited space. This not only ensures ample playground area for collective activities in the kindergarten but also provides each classroom with its own ‘mini playground’ for creative exploration.
     This outdoor space creates a closer connection between indoor and outdoor environments, acting as an extension of indoor classrooms. It offers children more possibilities to experience growth, learning, and play in various ways.

Underneath the stacked blocks, an open and brightly lit double-height public space is formed. The variation in scale enriches children's spatial experience and provides more flexible possibilities for different activities to take place.
     This layout also ensures that each classroom receives ample south-facing natural light, allowing children to learn and grow in an environment filled with natural sunlight. The facades of the buildings are predominantly white, allowing children to be the true protagonists, while the architecture and spaces merely serve as a backdrop for them to express their nature.
     Gazing into the West Coast Kindergarten from a distance, it resembles a man-made hill constructed from stacked building blocks, blending its undulating skyline seamlessly with the surrounding environment. West Coast Kindergarten is a design tailored for its site, aiming to ignite children's curiosity through outdoor spaces that extend from indoors. CLOU hopes that in such a simple, unadorned environment, every child's nature and creativity can be unleashed. (Source: CLOU)