Vietnamese preschool among top architectures: Guardian

A preschool project in the northern province of Son La has just been listed among the top 10 new architecture projects in the Art & Design column in UK-based newspaper The Guardian.

Vietnamese preschool among top architectures: Guardian
An overview of Bó Mon Preschool project. — Photos archdaily.com

The list was made based on posts on several architecture websites including Dezeen, ArchDaily, Designboom, Archinect, or the pickier Domusweb, Archpaper, the Architectural Review and Wallpaper since early March.

The list highlights the projects that “... make the world a little more interesting and a little more enjoyable”.

“The best of these projects are theatres for life, whether that life is seeing art, living in your home, going to school or meeting friends, and wherever it might take place: in an ancient city, in a refugee camp, in deep countryside. They aim to make that life richer, fuller and more surprising,” the article says.

Mentioning Bó Mon Preschool in Tu Nang Commune, Yen Chau District of Son La Province by Kientruc O (O Architecture), the article comments: “It’s a simple enough idea: a big distinctive roof that casts a big distinctive shadow that moves around during the course of the day. So the shadow becomes an animated thing in its own right, not just the absence of sun. The curvy shapes might be said to have some harmony with the surrounding hills. A tree is hugged at the entrance. The corrugated metal construction is basic, with some sensible-looking devices to ensure ventilation. Charming and deft and does what it says on the tin.”

Vietnamese preschool among top architectures: Guardian
Curvy shapes of the roof have some harmony with natural surroundings.

HCM City-based Kientruc O (O Architecture) company said on archdaily.com that architecture is not a simple plan to meet some specific demands of utility, aesthetics, and stability.

“Daily used architecture should create an interesting atmosphere for users,” the company’s representative wrote.

“It turns to be more and more difficult and challenging to create meaningful architectures because it requires non-stop changes and many surprises happening during long constructing time, especially when the project has a limited source of budget and should be implemented in severe conditions,” the post continued.

According the company, Bó Mon Preschool has been built for various purposes. Besides serving as a preschool for local children, the building has been also used as a communal house for locals.

Vietnamese preschool among top architectures: Guardian
The courtyard is a multi-functional open area for children to play.
 

“Through the separation of the classrooms, teacher accommodation and supporting rooms over a common yard, a central layout is formed, making the courtyard the heart where all activities happen,” the article on ArchDaily said.

“The courtyard is essentially a multi-functional open area under a shady awning where children play together.

“When school is in session, the yard is a place where siblings from the school next door gather to wait for each other before going home, an outdoor classroom, and a communal space for local festivals to take place throughout the year.

“The soft shape of the roof creates a shady area that transits slowly from the wall to the floor as the sun changes its course, animating a present that connects the architecture with its natural context, where it sits among the indefinite mountains and hills, and where it blends itself between the cloud and the mist of a highland afternoon.”

The top projects mentioned in The Guardian also included the Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear, in Cáceres, Spain, by Emilio Tuñón; Tainan Spring, in Taiwan, by MVRDV; Mac House, in Novelda, Spain, by La Errería; Alex’s guesthouse, in Berlare, Belgium, by Atelier Vens Vanbelle; Stone Garden, in Beirut, by Lina Ghotmeh; Emergency Scenery, in Olot, Spain, by unparelld’arquitectes; UHP synagogue, in Asunción, Paraguay, by Equipo de Arquitectura; and Fass school and teachers’ residence, in Fass, Senegal, by Toshiko Mori.

Kientruc O is led by duo Dam Vu and Anni Le, who also teach at the Architecture University of HCMC.

The company seeks architectural manifestations that both satisfy human needs and stimulate coexistence between humans and the natural ecology.

The company has won various domestic and international prizes including the Arcasia Awards for Architecture 2016, American Architecture Prize 2016 and was among finalists at the World Architecture Festival 2015.  VNS

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