Is a “Hello Kitty” style space really a dreamland for kids or is it the childhood imagined by an adult? The HP Kid Space project tries to propose its own opinions on the above issues. It tries to provide a space not only to encourage children to play and learn, but to free children’s imagination and to allow creative interaction with abstract geometry, instead of with figures and motifs created for children. It is inspired by nature, the universe and hills. Digital modeling techniques have been used to test the geometry. The “Universe” is composed from the manipulation of primitive shapes related to celestial bodies and phenomena. The sloping walkways are arranged like mountain paths for running and dancing. Between the different levels are voids, caves for children to explore. The space is a place that is trying to be inspirational, just as nature inspires us, not by being proactive, but always there to respond to our ideas with its geological setup.
Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2020
HP Kid Space
Interior Design Built
Yan Pan；Project Partner: Zhen Li ; Partner: Yimeng Tang; Project Architects: Ying Li; Team:Anran Lao、Ruixue Fan、Junyou Chen、Yile Xu、Yanan Wang、Junyi Chen、Milos Bojinovic、Hao Chen Diagram Credit: Yameng Mao、Xiaodan Chang、Nan Sun、Suqi Huang、Qingyang Xu
©Yan Pan, Zhen Li
In the 21st century, shopping malls have become the most important family destinations in urban areas in China. Childhood in a shopping mall is a phenomenon worthy of our attention. Moreover, some well-known motifs have dominated our children’s lives for quite a while. The design started from observing a social phenomenon and gives a possible “outside the box” solution. It recalls the inspiration of nature and geometrical forms. The intention was to help children to develop their consciousness and bodies without reference to the common motifs that adults have created for them.
The space is divided into two parts: the mountain zone and the universe zone. The mountain zone consists a series of slopes with the same angle to the ground. They are scaled, sited, and angled to create continuous walkways connecting each level. The slopes also create random spaces/caves between the different levels. The caves are interconnected to create more complicated spaces for kids to play in and climb. The universe zone consists of 4 hemispheres of different diameters that intersect with each other. These intersections create openings, which connect the spaces in the hemispheres to be a series of function rooms. These are for playing with toys, for theatre and video projection, for a library and a party room, and some are available for hire. Some of the hemispheres have belts that resemble the rings of planets. Surfaces that blend between the hemispheres’ inside and outside walls were arranged with different fillet radii to deliver different feelings. The sharp edges between the library and the party room display a strong silhouette of the moon, while the soft transition between the grand round hall and the role-playing room reflects a softer, gentler sense of welcome.
The design studio facilitated both manufacture and construction by close collaboration with the factories and contractors. The parametric digital model was sent to the manufacturer for solid surfacing casting. There were a lot of discussions to deal with construction issues. After those discussions, the studio worked hard to draft the steel plate drawings for the solid surface supports. The plates are well designed, with a detailed labeling system etched onto the plate by laser. The plates are arranged with a sophisticated notching system to connect one to the other.
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