Le Cheng Kindergarten, China by MAD

A playful escape for children to engage in outdoor activities

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards MAD for providing the following description:


MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, reveals its design for “Courtyard Kindergarten” in Beijing. Located on the site of a traditional siheyuan courtyard that dates back to 1725, MAD’s scheme inserts a new building that protects the existing buildings, and also restores them for use. The design features a dynamic floating roof that surrounds the historic courtyard. While preserving the cultural heritage of the site, it forms a multi-layered urban narrative, where old and new co-exist.

▼鸟瞰图,aerial view


“There is a saying in old Beijing when children are naughty: ‘if you go three days without being punished, the roof will cave in,” says MAD principal, Ma Yansong. Playing on this, MAD envisions the rooftop of the “Courtyard Kindergarten” as a place full of magic – a playful escape for the children that is a symbol of freedom and endless imagination.

▼漂浮的屋顶围绕着一座历史悠久的四合院而建,the design features a dynamic floating roof that surrounds the historic courtyard

“漂浮的屋顶”以低矮平缓的姿态水平展开,将不同建筑间有限的空间最大限度地转化成为一个户外运动和活动的平台。 二层是一片广阔的色彩斑斓的户外平台,这里是孩子们室外运动、课余互动玩耍的主要场所。平台的西南侧,像是一个个“小山丘”与“平原”相互交错,地形高低起伏。


Unfolding onto the site with a low and gentle posture, the roof transforms the limited space between the various buildings, into a colorful playground that functions as the main place for children to engage in outdoor sports and activities. On the southwest side of the roof, a subtly undulating surface of several small ‘hills’ and ‘plains’ creates a high and low terrain, forming a playful landscape.

▼色彩斑斓的户外平台是孩子们室外运动的主要场所,the colorful playground functions as the main place for children to engage in outdoor sports and activities

漂浮的屋顶下方则是开放布局的教学空间、图书馆、小剧场、室内运动场等,将是400名2-5岁孩子的日常教育空间。 流动的空间布局提供了一种自由、共融的空间氛围;新空间与古四合院相邻相望,新旧交替,孩子们随时能近观、接触历史,帮助他们加深对时间维度和历史的认知。新建部分围绕三棵古树设计了新的院落,与四合院的院落空间呼应,为教学空间提供了户外的延展和采光通风。

▼新空间与古四合院相邻相望,the new learning space opens towards the historic buildings

▼新的建筑充分尊重了场地中既有的三棵古树, the new building also has been realized to respect three, ancient trees on the site

Below the floating roof, MAD has designed the interior of the kindergarten as an open-concept layout that serves as a teaching space, library, small theater, and gymnasium. The openness of the space offers a free and inclusive atmosphere, and functions as the daily education space for 400 children between the ages of 2-5. Positioned adjacent to the old courtyard, the new learning space opens towards the historic buildings. This gives the children alternating views between old and new, deepening their understanding of time and dimension. In turn, the new building also has been realized to respect three, ancient trees on the site. It envelopes them in a way that while preserving their presence, also echoes the existing courtyard space, bringing the outdoors in, and flooding the interior with natural sunlight.

▼教学空间,teaching space



In its entirety, the “Courtyard Kindergarten” reveals several architectural elements – a modern building from the 90s, and a traditional courtyard from 400 years ago – that initially seem to be conflicting. MAD’s design retains the authenticity of the original buildings, while allowing them to co-exist with one another, creating a new kind of interaction between them. The openness and richness of the design allows the children to have an objective and true comprehension of the environment that surrounds them. It offers them an understanding of history and place, and the preservation of nature, bringing an inclusiveness between the old and new design – one that adds value to the community.



“My ideal kindergarten is not a theme park, or a place of shelter. It should be objective and real, but go beyond reality and provide some space for the unknown and imagination.” – Ma Yansong

▼整体鸟瞰,aerial view


The “Courtyard Kindergarten” is currently under construction. It is expected to be completed, and functioning in autumn of 2019.


▼首层平面图,ground floor plan


设计团队:何威、傅晓毅、肖莹、陈竑宾、尹建峰、张龙、赵孟、Kazushi Miyamoto、 Dmitry Seregin、马悦、黄锦坤、贲禹强、陈璐曼
数字媒体支持: SAN
*模型拍摄:CreatAR Images
Le Cheng Kindergarten
Beijing, China
Principal Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Design Team: He Wei, Fu Xiaoyi, Xiao Ying, Chen Hungpin, Yin Jianfeng, Zhang Long, Zhao Meng, Kazushi Miyamoto, Dmitry Seregin, Ma Yue, Huang Jinkun, Ben Yuqiang, Chen Luman
Client: Yuecheng Group
Executive Architect: China Academy of Building Research
Interior Design: MAD Architects, Supercloud Studio
Signage Design: 2X4 Beijing
Landscape Architect: ECOLAND Planning and Design Corporation
Façade Construction: Beijing Jangho Curtain Wall System Engineering Co., Ltd.
Visualizations: SAN
Model Photography: CreatAR Images

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