The United Design Group (UDG) China recently began construction on an innovative community kindergarten in Wuxi, a city in the southern Jiangsu province. Called Xieli Garden, it's a spiraling three-storey structure whose sloping green roof wraps around a centralized courtyard. It aims to create the ideal learning environment for children by providing them with lush vegetation and a direct connection to outdoor space.
Xieli Garden resides at the corner of a busy intersection that's surrounded by high-rise apartments, so protection for the kindergartners is key. Architects placed the proposed outdoor playground and a flag-rose field at the center of the oval-shaped courtyard with the curved ramp shielding the children from the traffic and city noise. This ramp also reinforces safety by allowing quick access from the sidewalk to the third floor.
Each level of the building has floor-to-ceiling window glazing which bathes its rooms in natural light. In addition, nine rectangular skylights are placed along the green roof and add to the airy feel of the building. This impressive school is slated for completion in 2015.