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Horizon & Atomesphere Landscape: What kind of kindergarten is the ideal one? This problem has been circling in our mind from the early stage of the design of One Infinity Academy, Kindergarten (the Ideal Land Campus).
In 2007, Takaharu Tezuka’s Fuji Kindergarten has become “the most outstanding educational building” in the world through the promotion of children’s curiosity, self-confidence, initiative, and ability to communicate with others in a free and open atmosphere. Thus, he pushed the educational concept-oriented kindergarten design into fashion.
An ideal kindergarten should ultimately focus on “children”. With the help of scientific educational concepts, kindergarten designers should use their designs to fully support educators, bring children strong physique, independent personality, healthy values, good learning and cognitive habits, and osmosis beauty quotient at 3-6 years old (this most important stage).
Therefore, the design of One Infinity Academy Kindergarten is based on the investigation and research of the “ideal kindergarten”. During the design process, we conducted many times of multi-dimensional discussions with the principal, hoping to get closer to the ideal kindergarten.
▽一八学校幼儿园（理想国校区）场地方案计划 The site plan of One Infinity Academy Kindergarten (the Ideal Land Campus)
大自然是最好的启蒙老师—Nature is the best enlightenment teacher —
One Infinity Academy Kindergarten (the Ideal Land Campus) has great basic environmental resources.
The principal of the kindergarten has rich educational experience and is very good at using natural resources. He has assembled plenty of teachers for sports education and natural education.
The first floor of the kindergarten has an outdoor area of 7,860 square meters, meanwhile there is another 1,480 square meters on the roof that to be constructed. The Utopia community, where the kindergarten is located, not only has tennis courts, baseball fields, football fields, basketball courts and other standard venues for competitions, but also has rich and diverse natural habitats such as riversides, lake areas, and woodlands.
▽幼儿园在理想国社区的生态观察活动 The kindergarten’s ecological observation activities in the Ideal Land community
In the natural environment, we don’t need to publicize the meaning of spring planting and autumn harvest, or explain the relationship between tadpoles and frogs, or systematically explain the significance of protecting the environment. Through outdoor courses, children can naturally understand and learn the laws of nature, develop their imagination and creativity, and appreciate the meaning of ecology in the joyful play and observation. By personally experiencing the hard work of planting and the joy of harvesting, children can cultivate their sense of responsibility for all things, and also freely exercise their ability to communicate in group activities.
Teacher leads children to get in touch with and understand nature, and meanwhile nature would become the best enlightenment teacher for children. We can make full use of the advantages of the environment through moving preschool education to the outdoors to the greatest extent, and use the power of nature to lead children to grow.
— 小小的幼儿园，充满浓缩的大自然 — Small kindergarten, but full of concentrated nature —
To realize the above ideas, the design of the kindergarten is based on “concentrated nature”, which presents rich nature from multiple perspectives such as materials, colors, and space shaping, to help conduct kindergartens’ outdoor education.
▽幼儿园的自然课堂 Nature class in the kindergarten
▽自然课堂的授课更加轻松自由 The teaching of nature class is more relaxed and free
In the natural environment, there should be a lot of noise around. While you may only hear your own voice if you always stay in a particularly quiet space. By moving the classroom to the outdoors, everyone can sit around not that regularly, so that each child could have enough freedom to choose their favorite position, and moreover reduce the social pressure of children. There may be birds chirping, or the wind rustling leaves during the class. These natural noises, on the contrary, can help children improve their concentration, and let them pay more attention to the content of the course
▽在自由的环境里做有意思的事情，每个小朋友都很认真 Every child is serious about doing interesting things in a free environment
▽没上课的时候，小朋友也喜欢到这里跑跑跳跳，写写画画 Children also like to run, play, write and draw here when there is no class
Another way to get in touch with nature is through materials. We use a lot of natural materials such as wood chips, bark, and pebbles for designing.
The road is also composed of many kinds of materials. We hope that everyone can feel the softness of wood chips and the unevenness of small stones, and experience the difference in temperature of different materials. This intuitive touch can help children to understand nature more clearly.
▽所有材料都取自自然 All materials are taken from nature
▽其中最受小朋友欢迎的就是小石子 One of the most popular materials among children is pebbles
Natural materials can also bring surprises.
Children found that after Jing Zhe (the Awakening of Insects, one of the 24 Solar Terms), they would find small bugs on the wood chips, bark and gravel roads, so that they can understand the meaning of Jing Zhe, and praise the wisdom of their ancestors.
They were also surprised to find that fungus can grow on the wood, and small mushrooms can emerge from the sawdust ground. These have become good educational materials, allowing children to experience the magical power of nature and admire the diversity and tenacity of life.
▽老师带着小朋友们寻找蘑菇 The teacher took the children to look for mushrooms
▽找到蘑菇的时候，小朋友会都聚过来观看 Children would gather around to observe the mushroom when they were found
In terms of color, we abandoned the rich and bright artificial colors in the traditional mode, and presented the kindergarten more in earth tones, even the elastic mat playground. We hope to truly restore nature, using trees and vegetation to present the colorful magic in nature. We want to teach the children the rules of the natural four seasons by reducing the strong artificial colors and using natural colors that can only be seen through waiting.
▽一楼地垫、滑梯都采用大地色系，与整体环境融为一体 Floor mats and slides on the first floor are all in earth tones, blending in with the overall environment
In spring, children will learn to wait and cherish from nature, and start expecting if the beautiful flowers would bloom today when they saw the flower buds emerge. When the leaves of the trees are getting more and more green, which means summer is coming. Flowers and plants are the most abundant at this time. In autumn, some green parts of the yard turn yellow, while others red. At Shuang Jiang (the Frost’s Descent, one of the 24 Solar Terms), children can learn how to make persimmons with the teacher, watching the persimmons slowly change, and experiencing the joy of labor.
▽小朋友在幼儿园里寻找春天 Children are looking for spring in the kindergarten
▽树上挂满晾晒中的柿子 The tree is full of drying persimmons
▽幼儿园霜降晒柿子课程记录 The course record of children drying persimmons in kindergarten at Shuang Jiang (the Frost’s Descent)
— 用孩子的眼睛看世界 — See the world through children’s eyes —
The world seen by children is very different from that of adults.
Children aged 3-6 are especially fond of exploring the world around them with their bodies. In the natural yard of the kindergarten, from the perspective of children, we designed some amusement facilities that can provide various of different experiences, encouraging children to explore.
Children will line up to climb the tower, stretch out their heads to find their companions who are crawling and hiding in the cement pipe. They can also wrestle with each other on the balance beam to see who can persist standing until the end.
In summer, children can play in the dry creek. Some children pressed the water pump, and others stepped into the dry stream with their bare feet and stepped on the water that their companions had just pumped out. In these group games, children will interact and communicate with each other, and naturally learn social rules from it.
▽分工合作盛水，拿到沙坑进行创作 Children work together to fill the bucket
▽试探着进入旱溪 Children are tentatively entering the dry creek with water and take it to the sandpit for creation
The light and shadow changes, and the sound of water droplets hitting the glass, which for the adults, they have long been accustomed to; while for children, they are vivid and interesting existences. Children can observe and interact with them with great interest. The widening and protruding corridors at the edge of the building has become a very practical venue, which not only allows a better transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, but also provides opportunities for conducting activities here when rainy or snowy.
▽春季时，小朋友在连廊下吹泡泡，吃午饭 In spring, children can blow bubbles and eat lunch in the corridor
The space on the roof means a wider vision for adults; while in the eyes of children, even they cannot see beyond the railings, they can feel the blue sky and white clouds closer. Therefore, we piled up really simple terrain on the roof that its ups and downs are not obvious to adults. Meanwhile, children can crawl on it, or lie on the slope, feeling the direct contact with the blue sky and white clouds.
A mini farm is constructed on the roof, which becomes an important teaching prop. Teachers will hand over the farm to the children from each class for “adoption”. Children work on it by themselves and everyone attaches great importance to their own responsibility field, from planting, watering, catching insects, fertilizing, etc. Classmates can make their own arrangements, and there will be child who is “on duty” and go up to take care of the wheat of their class every day.
In addition to the regular courses in the five major fields, kindergarten in the Ideal Land community also set up a Solar Term Aesthetics course. In the Mang Zhong (the Grain in Ear, one of the 24 Solar Terms) series courses, teachers would teach children how to plant and process wheat into food from planting to harvesting. There is not too much harvest on the roof, because there will be birds on the roof pecking the wheat. Children will also drive away birds, from which they can understand the laws of nature and the tough of harvesting.
▽小朋友自行照顾班级的责任田 Children would take care of the responsibility field of the class by themselves
— 从真实的自然汲取力量 — Drawing power from real nature —
When creating the natural environment for the kindergarten, we received the full support of the principal.
The real natural environment often has certain risks. In consensus with the principal, we controlled the extent of risk of falls without using guardrail facilities. Because there is no such guardrail in nature, and children should draw strength from the real nature.
It is impossible for people to escort you in the surrounding environment throughout your life. In 2022, in order to explore for secrets, some people ignored the “Dangerous” signs of natural scenic spots and entered caves, cliffs and streams without authorization, and unfortunately encountered landslides and mudslides. The occurrence of these accidents is more or less related to the fact that modern people are accustomed to a well-cared-for city life, that they are lack awe of nature, and the ability to recognize dangers.
▽小朋友们谨慎小心的攀爬这些高低不一的木桩，老师会在附近观察照看 Children are carefully climbing these wooden piles of different heights, and teachers would observe and take care of them nearby
Children need to be cared for as they grow up in kindergarten, and they also need to learn the ability to recognize danger. Through certain “dangerous” education, we can help children to establish the awareness of self-protection and cultivate the ability of self-protection, which would benefit more than taking strict precautions and preventing children from being any injured.
Such a design poses many challenges to the kindergarten, requiring teachers to pay more attention to these facilities. On the other hand, parents’ understanding, as well as their reminders and education in family life are also very important. In the past two years since the kindergarten was put into use, there was no disputes caused by it. Parents can understand and support this educational concept, and children also like these facilities very much. Moreover. children themselves are starting to know how to protect themselves and help others. These practical experiences have also verified the energy produced by the real nature.
▽自然中不可能存在完全安全的环境，小朋友玩耍的过程也在学习辨别危险 It is impossible to have a completely safe environment in nature, and children can learn to identify dangers when playing around
— 结语 — Epilogue —
One Infinity Academy, Kindergarten (the Ideal Land Campus) is a frontier exploration of preschool education at the right time and right site with right person. Chairman Xu of Pulo China’s insistence on a better life and continuous investment in advanced education have enabled the kindergarten to enjoy the rich ecological resources of the Utopia community, and also to have educational energy with advanced concepts. We are very honored to meet such a diligent and down-to-earth Principal Lei and his team of teachers, who not only own the advanced concepts, but also work hard to explore and implement them.
Under the guidance and support of these professional educators, this kindergarten from nature can be effective on bringing a wealth of outdoor courses and entertainments to the enrolled children, and achieving all our designers’ original intentions to the greatest extent.
Not only children, but we also benefit a lot from One Infinity Academy, Kindergarten (the Ideal Land Campus). What nature can provide is often broader and more far-reaching than people can imagine.
景观面积： 9340 ㎡
Project Name: One Infinity Academy ,Kindergarten （The Ideal Land Campus）
Name of owner: PULO CHINA
Landscape area: 9340 ㎡
Landscape Manager: Yinhan Lu
Landscape design team: Qingwen Zhang, Hao Yu, Ting Lin, Yadi Wu, Cunyou Huang
Photography: ⓒPulO CHINA, One Infinity Academy Kindergarten （The Ideal Land Campus）
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