Architecture Community architecture Education Rural architecture

Rural Vietnamese kindergarten by Kientruc O features courtyard concept topped by sculptural corrugated roof

May 6, 2020

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

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