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A Pony For You
Architects: L&M Design lab
Year: 2023
Area: 15000 m2
Location: Huangchuan, Xinyang, Henan, Kina

We renovated an unfinished elementary school. As a microcosm of the intense residential development that is commonly occurring in county units, this school in Xinyang Huangchuan County, Henan Province, is surrounded by high-rise residential neighborhoods on an extremely compact site. Walking into it, one feels as if one has returned to the high-rise buildings of the big city, oblivious to the vast fields that lie just a kilometer or two away.

The new campus, enclosed on three sides, seems to be a cage, isolating the leisure and nature of small county life. As the original building was nearly completed, the design could only unfold like a loach drilling tofu in order to control costs and avoid waste as much as possible. This is a renovation that races against time and fights against boredom. Under the circumstance that the building shape, pattern and area are almost unchangeable, the original orderly school is salvaged into a paradise that will be loved by the children.

A blue pony runs into this elementary school, wearing a Red Armillary Sash for a full day of play, and is currently sleeping soundly, revealing his adorable little hooves. The Red Armillary Sash is a clever thread that connects the main public spaces of the elementary school.

Photos by Zhu Qingyan