2017 Seoul Architectural Awards
The Nursery School of Siheung 3-dong is surrounded by rows of residential houses. The site is located on an inclining, narrow entry-way, and has an unfortunate, inconvenient line of sight originating with an elevation than is noticeably lower than the surrounding area. This small nursery school for 50 children had to bear the inconvenience of this environment and to be satisfied with the given programme. The main entrance was installed on the second floor, utilising the slope that reaches the one floor height. The building was placed in a Y-shaped form to encompass the playground. The Nursery School modestly abides by the city's context as a two-story building that appears to be a one-story building when viewed from street-level. Although the playground assumes the role of a courtyard, because of the neighbouring building that stands right at the site's boundary, the adjacent building does not have windows facing the playground, which allows the children to play freely with ease. While mitigating some discomfort by creating an open space inside and blocking out the outside, a large window was installed to face the road, allowing a view into the activities of the children for passers-by. The mass that is divided into two at the entrance naturally distinguishes the nursery room without requiring separate aisles. With the common area ratio on each floor remaining small, cosy entertainment spaces could be installed, linked to each other by the stairs at the centre. The white building placed on top of the exposed concrete foundation proposes new alternatives for what format architecture can encourage and foster in a residential neighborhood.