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10 design-forward kindergartens around the world

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Architectural merrymaking

black and white gabled volumes for a Danish kindergarten
This Danish kindergarten is more like a little village
Photo by Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily

Kids today have it good, especially if they get to attend a school with inspiring architecture. Sloping floors. Sprawling green roofs for growing food. A courtyard designed to collect rainwater just for splashing. These are just some of the ideas architects have recently employed to create delightful schools that escape the cookie cutter classrooms and sandboxs. Take a closer look.

This kindergarten in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, creates a mesmerizing light and shadow show with brickwork, and comes with spiral staircases inside and out.
Photo by Hiroyuki OKI via ArchDaily
Housed in a sloped glass and timber structure Hakusui Nursery in Chiba, Japan is basically a glassy treehouse, with crisscrossing wooden pillars demarcating different play areas.
Naomi Kurozumi via Designboom
Designed after sand dunes, this whimsical kindergarten on the southern tip of Sweden features climbable exteriors (with railings of course) and huge triangular skylights on the jagged roofline.
Adam Mørk via Dezeen
Kids get to be kids at this inventive Japanese preschool, where the courtyard was designed to collect rainwater for playing in puddles (the space turns into a badminton and softball court on dry days, and skating rink in the winter.)
Photo by Hibino Sekkei via Spoon & Tomago
Designed to get children acquainted with nature and farming, this sprawling kindergarten in Vietnam comes in a knot shape that forms three green roofs where children can learn to grow their own food.
Photo by Gremsy via Dezeen
Once again, leave it to Japan to adapt shipping container architecture sensibly for preschool children, adding wood paneling and covered terrace for warmth and light.
Photo by Studio Bauhaus, Ryuji Inoue via Designboom
Formed from a cluster of 11 slightly offset gabled volumes, this Danish kindergarten offers all sorts of play areas on the inside, outside, and somewhere in between.
Photo by Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily
This curve-loving Italian preschool is pretty unusual alright, but all the sloping floors and odd-shaped rooms are supposed to help expand kids’ minds.
Photo by Moreno Maggi via Mario Cucinella Architects
It may be a bit much, but props to this glorious Chinese kindergarten for making something useful out of an abandoned business center.
Photo by Yang Chao Ying via Dezeen