Architecture firm Crossboundaries create a new life into an abandoned building originally built for a financial district in Zhengzhou. The building is part of a triumvirate of desolate round buildings, never used since it was built as a business center 10 years ago. The area, was famous by international media as one of China’s largest “ghost districts”, where Crossboundaries completed their project – Soyoo Joyful Growth Center 28,000sqm.
The architects dandified the facade with brightly colored cantilevered tubes that jut out from the building and frame views of the outdoors. The gutted interior is replaced with a “subway system” of five colored tubes—red, green blue, yellow, and orange —that extend from the outside and weave through the building at different angles.
The application of different colored strings within a limited palette spans from the existing roof to the ground. It forms a secondary façade of double layering, creating areas in between the existing volume and its outside. Light can still easily penetrate through the façade into building. The design of the interior reflects the same color palette and allows for easy orientation within the building.
“Similar to a subway system, these tubes intersect and lead children to different parts of the building,” said the studio. “A child begins in a colour tube, allowing its interest to guide it through various fields of knowledge and explore their interconnections.”
From several entrances, children enter Soyoo into an open lobby on the ground floor with play frames and children’s retail stores. The play areas are finished with primary-coloured and faceted apparatus including climbing frames, slides and a ball pit. At the center of it, light shines through the sky light and present a welcoming area with a café and swimming pool. The main program on the second floor, consists of spaces for reading, art, music, dance, geography, etc. This program of the building extends to the third and fourth floor’s outside space. On the third floor are more learning areas, a planetarium and a green house, as well as a Soyoo operated Kindergarten. A running track and playground is located on the landscaped roof.
The kindergarten opens onto a large plaza with planting and seating, which is hoped to attract people to the area. Benches and planting are offered to provide a pleasant environment beyond the building. This plaza isn’t only a place where the children can play, also it is a place where you can relax and gather.