SAKO architects uses 483 pieces of polychromatic glass to decorate this kindergarten in Tianshui, China.
The studio applies the colorful elements above the glass doors and windows, as well as the handrails of corridors and stairs, creating a kaleidoscopic effect across the otherwise minimalist building.
SAKO Architects designed the building to evoke children’s imagination and creativity with colour. During the day, sunlight sheds into the kindergarten’s classrooms forming colorful lights and shadows.
At night, in contrast, the glowing lights from the interior emit out of the windows that create an impressive and beautiful night scene.
Centered on a three-storey open atrium, illuminated by a huge glass ceiling, natural sunlight catches the glass to create a colorful play of light and chroma across the interior.
Each opening in the kindergarten is arched while the central atrium is surrounded by oval balconies, leading to respective classrooms.
Intended as a multi-functional space, the atrium is designed for use throughout the year equipped with floor heating and air conditioning systems. There are also multiple windows that can be opened for ventilation in summer and closed to trap heat in winter.
"Our goal is to inspire the infinite creativity of children through this impressive building as they grow up,’ says the architects.
"When the children grow up, they will also remember such spectacular scenery and be proud of their hometown. We expect this kindergarten can be embraced by everyone and become a new landmark in Tianshui city."
The choice to use only arched openings was inspired by the traditional cave-like dwellings found in Loess Plateau, where Tianshui city is located.
The earliest types of these were dug into the hillsides and consist of two or three arched openings that are interconnected inside.
"Color shades can grow and shrink as colors overlap and become different colors, or move from a vertical plane to a horizontal plane and back again," architect Keiichiro Sako wrote on Instagram.
"I hope that spending childhood in this beautiful light will foster the creativity of the children."