Designed by Vietnamese practice Kientruc O, led by architects Dam Vu and Anni Le, and assisted by Duy Tang, Bó Mon Preschool is a 237m² community project commissioned by a charity organisation to provide a holistic learning space for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Tu Nang village, Son La province. Sitting in a lush green valley amid mountains, the school’s concept began by outlining the spatial function in the initial stages.
Through the separation of the classrooms, teachers’ accommodation, and supporting rooms over a common yard, a central layout was formed, putting the courtyard at the heart of all the activities. 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.
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Consequently, the conceived project and the idea of a connecting station as a public school for children from three villages in Tú Nang-Yên Châu serves as an open suggestion, and a prototype for future community projects by non-profit organisations.
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 connect 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 smog of a highland afternoon.
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Photos: Trieu Chien, Hoang Le