24/53 PROJECTS

Project: Family Box – Beijing

Client:
Children Enterprise (UK) Limited
Location:
Beijing, China
Program:
Educational
Area:
5,625 sqm
Time:
August 2008 – December 2009
Status:
Completed
Partners:
Binke Lenhardt, DONG Hao
Team:
Crossboundaries, Beijing
Collaborators:
BIAD International Studio & BIAD TSH
Photographer:
Chaoying Yang

Keeping the whole family entertained, family box is something between an indoor playground and a kindergarten for children up to twelve years old. A child-scale space is complimented with an adult-scale space, to accommodate families needs.

big box for family fun

Located in a park Family Box comes alive from afar, wrapped in a glass facade embellished with children’s line drawings. Inside it is treated with low contrast finishes punctuated with activities of color. A full program of swimming and game play to various classes such as music, dancing, crafting and cooking is available.

Challenged by an existing structural system, born of a different original function of the building, there was still time to adapt the upper floor plates as construction was still in progress. Shifting the levels and making cut outs to make visual connections between floors enhanced the spatial experience.

Freestanding activity boxes break the rigid layout of the columns and arches soften the rhythm of the structure. Each box has its own program or theme. Inside they engage children in activity while parents have a peep inside to see what is going on through square openings.