THDL (Tianhua Design Lab) - Have fun with Donut Kindergarten, a circulation loop
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Have fun with Donut Kindergarten, a circulation loop

THDL (Tianhua Design Lab)

Education / Completed
THDL (Tianhua Design Lab)

THDL has released their recent work CIFI Donut Kindergarten. The site was located right beside the junction of Feicui Rd and Qingnian Rd, which was deemed as the best spot for the sake of the sunlight condition during urban planning. Considering the major highway Feicui Rd. and local bureau of ecological environment nearby, the design applied enclosing spatial arrangement in order to get rid of any negative influences that might be generated by these site conditions.

To ensure necessary sunlight hours required for children’s activity, the three-floor high volume in the north was designated as the main education space for 12 classes. Then it was stepping downwards and sheltering other functions rooms on the both sides. The overall form was united through two individual ramps that joined roof terraces of different heights, which created a continuous open space. As a result, in addition to enjoying corresponding outdoor playgrounds, children of each floor would be capable of communicating with more friends when they approached the upper or the lower level unintendedly. Within the building, all the rooms had been arranged on the same side of the corridor to maximize the efficiency of natural light and ventilation.

As white aluminum panels flew and twisted on the surface, the expression of the façade was quite fluid and rhythmic. The sub-panels beneath with timber texture heat-transfer-printed further flattered the building with a hint of warmness and delicacy. All the double-curved panels had been processed with sufficient digital optimization to achieve a good balance between modular production and architectural performance. The cloudy glass for handrail drew a border that was both secure and poetic for the continuous roof.

To further amplify the pleasure, architecture had collaborated with landscape thoroughly and three-dimensionally, which made the whole kindergarten turn into a fascinating wonderland for children. The reversed beam at the entrance on the ground floor allowed a low yet open space to span 16 metres. It was vegetated and therefore warm and sweet. Above the double height multi-media room, roof structure descended on purpose of the roof sunken garden. The slide and flying corridor in the centre of the courtyard defined by architecture’s volume not only provoked the climax of the overall outdoor activity but also connected the roof space and garden on the ground floor seamlessly. Consequentially, the circulation loop was smoother and spatial experience was more of diversity. For example, children could climb up the courtyard’s flying corridor to the 1st floor to say hi to the friends on the ground floor through the floor opening and then use slide to come back. Or they could run across the ramp garden to the 2nd floor and then go to the 1st floor with another slide etc. The spatial activeness brought by the fluctuation of the architectural form would be a better protector of children’s free nature and borderless imagination.

The overall volume of the kindergarten was restrained to save some space for the entrance where parents would have enough time and space to wait and say goodbye. It would relieve the pressure on traffic during peak periods in the future. In addition, the entrance was actually a delicate miniature of the whole design, which tried to imitate the atmosphere of the main courtyard.

The interior design was dominated by mild candy colors and circular arcs. The delicate yet bold outcome would cater to all the lovely imaginations of a child about the world with the warmer and securer feeling.


 Hefei, Anhui
 THDL (Tianhua Design Lab)
 Xin Ji, Xi Chen, Zhiwen Chen, Jiaqi Ge, Shixuan Ren, Huazhou Ye, Ruohan Xu, Fangting Bao, Shida Zhu
 Sinci Façade Engineering Consultancy
 Songkai Liu, Jian Feng, Nanxi Photography


THDL is a leading design institution based in Thape, China. Founded in 2018, it has become an international-renowned studio striving to provide intelligent and creative design solutions for local and international clients. Based on the traditional building types, we try to find new value of architecture in urbanism. In order to achieve greater discourse in social value system, we embrace new technology, new language as well as new work flow. Through traditional architectural methods, we also did research on design problems, such as social impact, cultural interpretation, functional indication, material durability and capital expression, etc.

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