Exploration Loop–Xian County Sunshine Kindergarten
People's Architecture Office
Sunshine Kindergarten is a progressive school that offers innovative learning and STEAM curriculum to a disadvantaged rural community in Hebei, China. The project upgrades and expands the facilities of an existing school that was founded in 2004.
The design of the school encourages early learners to feed their curiosity and engage in creative exploration at an extremely formative period in their lives. The design introduces a covered walkway in the form of a loop that links new learning spaces to pre-existing ones. Disparate elements of the original school are woven together as a unified whole. The loop becomes a social condenser where students mix and interact with intersecting spaces and programs. In this way, space takes on the role of the ‘third teacher’ by supporting self-directed learning and helping to lighten the workload of teachers.
The design nurtures social interaction and creates a cohesive learning community through an interconnected campus. By strategically incorporating spaces and tools for autonomous play and development, the design aims to cultivate lifelong learners of tomorrow.