Spreading over 3800 square meters, the Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia Architects is an astounding architectural project trying to give back the power to the people. In a historically agricultural country like Vietnam, where the manufacturing economy quickly gains ground, people’s connection to the natural environment is quickly changing. Located in Biên Hòa, Dong Nai, Vietnam, the contemporary kindergarten strives to supply two activities of utmost importance: learning and growing food.
According to the architects, the Farming Kindergarten is located next to a large she factory where the parents of these 500 children enrolled here work. In order to keep and forge a deeper relationship with a natural environment, the Farming Kindergarten was “conceived as a continuous green roof, providing food and agriculture experience to children, as well as an extensive playground to the sky.” They continue with explanations about the structure and functions: “The green roof is a triple-ring shape drawn with a single stroke, encircling three courtyards inside as safe playgrounds. Recently, an experimental vegetable garden was realized on its top. Five different vegetables are planted in 200m2 garden for agriculture education. All functions are accommodated under this roof. As the roof lowers to the courtyard it provides access to the upper level and vegetable gardens on top- the place where children learn the importance of agriculture and recover connection to nature.”
Designed to maximize light and fresh air intake, the modern kindergarten is insulated by a green roof and a green facade shading the interior spaces. Solar water heating and recycled waste water from the nearby factory are used for irrigation and flushing toilets. Every environmentally-friendly function is shown in order to participate to a healthy, ignorance-free education for these children.
Photographers Gremsy and Hiroyuki Oki show us different perspectives of the undulating kindergarten structure. You might even remember the Stone House or the Stacking Green home, both constructed in Vietnam, and both under the attentive supervision of Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Check them out too to get a better grip on the architect’s style and solutions. Stay inspired!
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.