Brick may often be seen as boring and traditional, but that’s not the case when the material falls into the hands of KIENTRUC O. The Vietnamese architecture studio creatively used the ancient building block to breathe life into Ho Chi Minh City’s new Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten located in the city’s District 2. The building is made entirely from bare brick arranged in patterns to form an eye-catching and playful facade that also promotes natural ventilation.
Likened to a “giant Lego building,” the Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten features perforated brick walls with sections painted vibrant yellow for a spectacular effect. While a playful atmosphere conducive to exploration was crucial in the design, the architects also wanted to create a space that felt calm and relaxed. To that end, the building is organized around a central active core that branches out to serene classroom settings.
“Instilled within the school is an openness with a spark of curiosity that allows people of all ages to venture and explore the space in a relaxing and calming atmosphere,” the architects wrote. “As we have engaged in numerous educational projects, we recognize that these experiences are equally as important as the responsibility of nurturing the kids. It invokes a sense of pride, and interests within the teacher and the staffs. It inspires and embraces them, for they have chosen to dedicate their life for the education and the well-being of the children on a daily basis.”
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Each floor features alternating patterns that encourages children to become more attuned to their surroundings. The walls are punctuated by large windows for continuous views inside and out. Access to daylight, cross breezes and a natural material palette help promote a healthful environment. A rooftop garden tops the building with panoramic views of the Saigon River.
Images by Hiroyuki Oki