Panjin Hanlinyuan International Kindergarten

Art is a sensory way for young children to understand the world, and it's another form of "language" to express their understanding of the world.
 

Throughout his life, Morandi was fond of painting bottles and jars. By continuously capturing the essence of simple objects, he developed a highly personalized style of still life painting that blended elements of Cubism and Impressionism, which later became the popular Morandi color palette. Unlike Western rationalism, Morandi's style leaned more towards the sensory experience found in traditional Chinese aesthetics, similar to the way children grasp things sensually and perform non-logical, unstructured activities during art activities.
 

01 Color Combinations

Creating a Warm Feeling at Home from a "Perception" Perspective

Many people sum up Morandi's color palette as "cool" with its simple "cool and neutral" colors, often perceiving the low-saturation gray as cold. What many people don't know is that the early loss of both parents and a sibling made Morandi particularly value close family relationships. This profound emotion is subtly preserved in his paintings, which feature calm and soft colors. It is this unique combination of colors that conveys a deeply gentle emotional solace.

Kindergarten Design

Choosing the Morandi color palette to design the entire school is inspired by the gentle interpretation of the Morandi family concept by the designers at Hope School. The dark green blocks neutralize and soften the large areas of low-saturation tobacco green and cold gray, while the pink blocks add warmth to the space, reducing the feeling of coldness. Cartoon elephants and "bubble lights" bring a sense of playfulness, breaking the silence of the space. The combination of sofas and soft accessories adds a relaxed and contented atmosphere. The designers aim to create a kindergarten that exudes a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere, focusing on children's perspective and creating a second "home" for them.

Kindergarten Design

Respecting children's emotional expressions is the goal of creating a home atmosphere. If children want to talk quietly, there are individual gaming area corners where they can escape temporarily. If they want to play freely, the open and flat gaming scenes offer abundant opportunities for social interaction. In this space, both bodies and souls find ample care. The designers hope that this emotionally secure base, filled with a family atmosphere, will reduce children's over-dependence on their families and the psychological imbalances caused by isolation from their families.
 

02 Elements Application

Stimulating Children's Artistic Imagination from an "Observation" Perspective

Morandi was once described as the "most European painter closest to Chinese painting" because the development and formation of Morandi's artistic style were greatly inspired by the ideas found in Chinese painting. If the essence of Chinese painting is focusing on blank spaces and spatial freedom, then Morandi's innovation lies in maintaining spatial order within the painting.
 

Line Elements: Cultivating a Sense of Order

Dynamic line application represents the maintenance of order in Morandi's artwork. In the classrooms, colors and lines form guided walking paths, making the space dynamic and orderly. Scientific rules become clear through simple lines during the game. In the role-play area, crosswalk lines and traffic lights recreate real-life scenarios. The designers aim to encourage children to follow rules by using a coaxing approach.

Kindergarten Design

Color Block Elements: Evoking Artistic Aesthetic Potential

Morandi's artistic style differs from Cézanne's use of color stacking to create intense oppression or Monet's pursuit of the dreamy interplay of light and color.

Kindergarten Design

"Balanced in the center, accommodating both extremes" is the shared aesthetic pursuit between Morandi and Confucian philosophy. Morandi's style achieves a harmonious balance between the abstract separation of Cubism and the dreamy light and shadow of Impressionism. It's this harmonious style that adds a sense of purity to Morandi's gray, distinct from others. Drawing inspiration from the Morandi color palette, the designers use Cubism to explore the pure gray in urban street scenes. By breaking the spatial dimension limit through the combination of two-dimensional flat surfaces from the outside world and real three-dimensional architecture, a relatively balanced state is achieved in the light gray tone. The designers aim to stimulate and awaken children's intrinsic artistic aesthetic nature and potential by breaking their visual habits, creating an imaginative world of art, and using space in an unexpected way.
 

03 Spatial Framework

Encouraging Children's Artistic Creativity and Imagination Through "Interaction"

Art Room: Creating Conditions for the Development of Children's Aesthetic Expression

Morandi and traditional Chinese literati painting both use a combination of different viewpoints to create depth in the space. This layering approach was used by the designers at Hope School, focusing on the aesthetic expression and creativity of young children. In the art room, a large amount of natural wood is used to achieve the aesthetic balance of "less is more" found in Morandi's artwork. Deep vertical streaks of wood are set against a jumping blue backdrop to create visual contrast. White geometric shapes act as space dividers, softening and accommodating the two strongly contrasting spaces. The designers use layered spatial elements to create a visually rich environment. The art room offers opportunities for fine motor skill exercises and provides various display platforms to foster children's aesthetic expression. Different elements like round wood and details add to the spatial richness, allowing children to gain extensive experience related to space and shapes.

Kindergarten Design

Corner Nooks: Igniting Artistic Aesthetic Imagination

The designers place an emphasis on nurturing children's creative awareness and abilities. Using the corridor space, children are separated from the chaotic outside world and meet astronauts in the corner of a turn, allowing their imagination to run free under the vast starry sky. The design allows children to break away from the usual patterns and fosters their artistic aesthetic imagination. A melodious piece of music played on the violin in the corridor paints bright notes over Morandi's colors. This corridor could be the next "Cremona," where the world's greatest violinists are born.

Kindergarten Design

In China, early childhood art education often focuses on acquiring artistic skills and accumulating artistic knowledge, with aesthetic education serving mainly as a tool for moral and intellectual development. The internal perception, experience, imagination, and creativity—essentially the development of ontological art—are often neglected. The designers at Hope School approach early childhood art education from the perspective of children's independent perception, imagination, and experience. They use visual, sensory, and tactile artistic space elements to form aesthetic psychological images in children's minds. This approach turns the entire kindergarten into an aesthetic learning space for free artistic creation, where "safety, observation, and interaction" are integrated.

Project Name
Panjin Hanlinyuan International Kindergarten
Project Type
Kindergarten Design
Design Team
Xi Yuan Kindergarten Design Research Institute