TIA HK Playgroup Design
This playgroup center in Sheung Wan has been designed to encourage children to learn through music.
Throughout the 5,000sq ft space, the classrooms are not the only areas built with little ones in mind. Everywhere (including the reception and hallways) presents an opportunity to play.
The unique environment has been scaled to a child’s size, stimulating children’s inquisitiveness and natural abilities.
This starts from the moment the child enters the foyer, where instead of a reception desk, there is a play area composed of mats and ottomans that can be re-configured into puzzles.
The reception desk glows like a light box and has been placed next to the shoe storage area covered in brightly coloured fabric.
The ceiling has been left exposed and painted black so that it appears to recede, with addition of round pendant lights making the low 2.1 meter ceiling seem higher than it actually is.
The entry to each classroom features a different musical theme. At the first classroom, children can dissect a wall puzzle that is made of magnets.
Another features large primary-coloured dots. Some of these are drums, which when struck make a noise. Others are just stickers. This encourages children to explore, while stimulating their colour recognition, coordination and hearing abilities.
One of the classrooms has balls on the walls and children are asked to place each ball in the correct hole.
In one hallway, hollow wood pipes provide various tones when they are hit with sticks. The long pipes also have speakers attached to them so that one person can speak to another at the other end of the room. And in another zone students are invited to paste photos or write on a wall that has been painted with a special coating.
Each classroom has various shaped windows that use single reflective mirror glass which parents can look through while avoiding disruption to the class.
Further interest is created in each classroom by cutting out an opening in the ceiling to reveal the ducting. Each room has a different shape and colour. This technique also helps keep costs low, especially important as the project was done on a tight budget.