Aranya Qixing Youth Camp

Qinhuangdao
Architects
Atelier TeamMinus
Location
Qinhuangdao
Year
2016
Team
Brian Zhang Li, Mingqi Zhang, Hao Wang, Guang Lu Dong, Zi Shen Wen, Cong Li, Yu Nan Duan, Zi Hao Pan

The building is built for Qixing Education, a successful Chinese company that offers summer and winter school programs for children and the youth. Their pedagogy is to take the Chinese children, mostly products of the one-child policy, out to a temporary community of their own, and get close to nature while learning various skills in culture, craft and socialization.

The building sits amid a strip of sand dunes, which runs along the middle of a seaside weekend housing development inside the Aranya complex. A continuous, spiral ramp that starts from one side of the sand dunes, circles around two courtyards, reaching its highest point before landing down to the ground on the other side of the dunes. Of the two courtyards, the outer one is designed to be kept open and used for collective activities; the inner one is framed by the classrooms on the ground floor and the dorms on the first floor, which is used for private activities.

Along its entire length, the ramp helps to form a series of spaces both above and beneath it. In the lower part, the ramp forms a temporary spectators' stand in the outer courtyard,covering an outdoor cafe area with large openings in the walls framing views to the dunes and the playgrounds. In the middle part, the top of the ramp provides panoramic views to the sea and the distant plains; below the ramp there are flat spaces for children’s games. In the ending part, the ramp takes a quick descend to the playgrounds below. When there is no summer/winter school activity, the ramp is open to the local residents.

The different heights, expands and slopes of the activity spaces are to encourage the youthful to move their bodies more creatively.

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