Reminiscent of Tezuka Architects' highly praised Fuji Kindergarten (see post here) is this 'Farming Kindergarten' designed by Vo Trong Architects with its soaring habitable roof.
Receiving the Architectural Review "Highly Commended" Award, the kindergarten design is a reaction to Vietnam's rapid urbanization (and subsequent removal from nature) that the population is facing.
Built next to a shoe factory for the 500 children of the factory employees, it has a continuous green roof that provides expansive space for physical play as well as edible gardens. Teaching children about the work that goes into growing and cultivating ones own food.
The three loops that the building forms in plan also has the advantage of creating three internal (and protected) play spaces. All of which include trees with concrete formed curving bench seats surrounding them so that the children can sit under their shade.
The construction is kept simple - with concrete floors, walls and roof and a simple vertical steel balustrade. A budget approach, that yet works. Allowing the natural elements and strong curving form to shine.
Along with the ethos of connecting with nature, the architects have included a plenitude of openable windows allowing cross ventilation and lighting. As a result, it can operate without air conditioning, despite the intense tropical climate.
Other strategies of environmental control include using recycled factory wastewater to irrigate the green roof and lavatories and solar power to heat water.
Vertical timber slats on the building's outer facades provides semi-transparent screening whilst also acting as a trellis for creeping plants. Further allowing the building to become one with it's natural surroundings.