Xinchang village’s kindergarten is one of more than ten kindergartens that Open Foundation has donated to the disaster area of 2013 Lushan earthquake. Surrounded by mountains, the site is a relatively small platform in the northwest of the village. It faces a mountain gap to the west, so that people can still sense the faraway from here. The surrounding settlements, while providing shelters to the inhabitants, confronts subtly the nature that dominates. In order to maintain this peaceful and tranquil rustic atmosphere, the new architecture should embrace a homy atmosphere existed locally.
▼与自然紧密依存，close to nature
The entire kindergarten is conceived as a “village”. The total volume of one thousand five hundred square meters is decomposed into nine isolated “cottages” according to the programs. They are placed on the north, south and east sides of the site to enclose a U-shape courtyard facing west. The courtyard pavings and the building facades adopt locally-produced shale sintering bricks, endowing the place with a strong sense of artificiality. Hence, on the one hand, the design stands apart from the nature; on the other hand, it forms an inseparable ensemble with the sky, the platform, the nearby villages and the further mountain gap.
▼建筑体量按功能组成被分解成九个彼此游离的“村舍”，the total volume of one thousand five hundred square meters is decomposed into nine isolated “cottages” according to the programs
The sense of dimensions is specific there spatially and temporally. The manifestation of nature is controlled to be deeply related to the development and transformations of the site. The inner courtyard is the centre of the kindergarten, and also the kernel of the sense of directions and identities. As children playing in the courtyard everyday, it becomes the place where affinity with the kindergarten and memories get started. The courtyard is the source of affiliation.
▼内广场是整个幼儿园的核心，the inner courtyard is the centre of the kindergarten
The design also took serious considerations of children’s mental and physical characteristics, making efforts to realize the diversity and capability of playfulness in the spatial typologies. Because Ya’an area rains a lot, the unit buildings of the kindergarten and the main entrance are connected by a circuitous veranda. This veranda adapts the level difference of the site. Cooperating with the ramp and stairs, it creates an intimate layer between the courtyard and the architecture and provides more possibilities for the children’s daily activities.
▼空间类型的多样化和可游戏性，making efforts to realize the diversity and capability of playfulness in the spatial typologies
Limited by relatively tight budgets, the design must attend to the local construction and crafting abilities. We took the authenticity and autonomy of nearby villages as a good reference. Considering the fact that the mean annual precipitation locally could be up to two thousand millimeters, the waterproof structure is influential. Not large as the unit building of kindergarten is , single-pitch roof was thought to be efficient to drain the rain and convenient to construct. In terms of facade treatment, we used the shale sintering brick wall on top of the wall-filled frame to resist water. The shale brick as a common rustic practice is much better in water-repelling performance than ordinary wall paints. As for the veranda, the light steel materials are employed for their easy-carrying feature; they also add a dash of industrialized vibe to the hand-crafting brickwork site so as to separate the expression of architecture from the primitive cottages.
▼外廊采用便于手工搬运轻钢材料，the light steel materials of the veranda are employed for their easy-carrying feature
▼便于排雨水的单坡屋面与作为防水措施的页岩烧结砖墙，single-pitch roof is efficient to drain the rain and the shale sintering brick wall is used to resist water
▼空间的趣味性表达，way to show playfulness
Xinchang village’s kindergarten is neither a design to explore the rustic originality in western Sichuan, nor an attempt for countryside utopia. Out of respect to investment constraints and conformation to local construction procedures and capabilities, the architects tried hard not only to meet the programmatic requirements but also incorporate self-adaptation into the new architecture, in order to fit in the homy atmosphere in western Sichuan’s villages, as well as some sort of autonomy.
▼一层平面图，the first floor plan
▼二层平面图，the second floor plan
Project Name: Xinchang village’s central kindergarten in Tianquan county sponsored by the One Foundation
Location: Xinchang village of Tianquan county in Sichuan Province
Programme: kindergarten with 6 classes
Scale: 1500 sqm
Design Period: 2014-2015
Architect: Atelier Deshaus
Design Team: Chen Yifeng, Liu Yichun, Gao Lin, Gao De
Construction: BEIJING TONGCHENGFANHUA ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING CONSULTING Co.,Ltd.
Client: One Foundation
Photographs: Su Shengliang