Hand-to-Hand Project: LONGSHAN PRESCHOO IN ZHANGJIACHUAN, GANSU
Location: Longshan Town, Zhangjiachuan, Gansu
Status: Partially Built
LDI: Changcheng Architectural Design LLC in Tianshui City
Team: YANG LiYan, WU Tieliu, CAO Chuangeng, CEN Di, CHEN Juzhang
Longshan preschool is one of the projects funded and managed by H2H (Heart to Heart, Hand to Hand), a project initiated by Nokia China in 2008 to promote the importance of early childhood education in rural remote counties in China. As children in rural areas are accustomed to the freedom of open fields, the preschool provides a different setting with enclosed and protected courtyards and classrooms shared with others, to diversify their early childhood experience. The continuous zigzag roofs are abstracted from the profile of clusters of rural buildings. Standard sloping roofs are joined to surround the playground with a distinguished and playful skyline, forming the identity of the preschool’s environment. All classrooms are connected directly to the playground, to maintain the intimate relationship between indoor and outdoor activities. The shared courtyard can be flexibly divided into different uses based on age or circumstance, and children can easily observe others whether indoor or outdoor. The school provides an early experience of a collective society. After 4 years of design, land negotiation and construction, it officially opened in July, 2012. Built area is 978 m2 on a 4330 m2 site, consisting of 4 classrooms, 160 kids, and 12 faculties.