Project: "Da Ya Kindergarten, Xi-An"
Company:J.M. Lin Architect / The Observer Design Group
Designer(s): J.M. Lin Architect / The Observer Design Group, Taiwan
Category: , Professional
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Entry Description: A Hundred Colors of Children Da Ya Kindergarten, Xi An - the canvas in all possible colors, shapes and forms for the little free spirits to explore the boundless. Apart from merely for preschool education, the space aims to meet the school’s mission to build greater learning experience by shaping an environment friendly for boundless exploration, imagination and creation to motivate the little inventors through hands-on activities, making the school a birthplace of passion and intellectuality. Aware of children’s innate talent for creation, the team designs the space that increases their engagements with people and surroundings. Examples are: The interior walls are constituted of interweaving hexagonal structures, which itself serves as platform for hide-and-seek and conducting independent activities e.g. reading or drawing, creating the ambience of adventure and interaction. On the exterior, the ideas of ‘pixels’ are inserted into the façade of the architecture in the form of hexagonal windows composed of colored glasses, casting colorful shadows into the interior when sunlight shines through, and meanwhile forming a playground where children learn about colors. The creation of the 150cm-high mezzanines on upper 2nd floor makes efficient use of the space and relieves the 2nd floor of confinement by opening the ceiling and equipping cotton safety net for kids to lie on and play on. Flexibility is factored into every inch of the arrangement. Classrooms are connected by sliding doors to meet the spontaneous use of diverse activities. Doors slid away, desks and chairs removed, the JELIC classroom soon is merged with the Physical Education classroom, forming an auditorium. Walls left blank, ceilings designed in nets so children can display their works everywhere, making them an important part of the space designers. All design originates from observations of children, yet boundaries are pushed to exceed what’s imaginable.

About the Designer/Company
J.M. Lin Architect, P.C. was founded in New York since 1995, J.M. Lin Architect/ The Observer Design Group was founded in Taipei since 1997. Jou Min Lin is the founder and the principal architect for both offices. The office, mainly functioned in Taipei with 45 personnel, has established its reputation by remodeling, adding newly built volumes to the historical buildings, and by turning the old buildings into cultural facilities, i.e. art galleries, campus building, and museums. The firm portfolio includes a huge variety of projects, from museums, transportation, cultural complexes, theaters and stage design, residential and office buildings, schools, international competitions, corporate image design, parks and landscape design, to urban planning. The firm focuses particularly on architectural design and experimentation of various constructional methods.