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A Whimsical Wonderland: SAKO Architects’ Colorful Bridges at Zigzag Elementary

ZIGZAG Elementary School, Tianjin, CN / SAKO architects

SAKO Architects, under the leadership of Keiichiro Sako, has recently completed the design of the innovative ZIGZAG Elementary School in Tianjin, China. The key concept behind this project was to create a space that would make it fun for children to come to school every day, and the architects have certainly succeeded in bringing this vision to life.

ZIGZAG Elementary School, Tianjin, CN / SAKO architects

The elementary school is made up of eight volumes that house both regular and special classrooms. These volumes are spread out over four levels and arranged in a unique zigzag pattern, giving the school its distinctive and eye-catching appearance. To connect the classrooms on different levels, twelve bridges are suspended at varying angles between the facing volumes, creating a dynamic and playful atmosphere within the school.

ZIGZAG Elementary School, Tianjin, CN / SAKO architects

One of the most striking features of the ZIGZAG Elementary School is the use of color throughout the building. Each volume and floor is painted in a different color, resulting in 32 distinct spaces with a wide range of color combinations. This not only adds visual interest to the school but also helps to create a sense of identity and variety, reminiscent of the way sports teams are identified by their team colors.

ZIGZAG Elementary School, Tianjin, CN / SAKO architects

In addition to the colorful classrooms, the school also features a large communal space known as the atrium. By semi-enclosing the courtyard, SAKO Architects have created a versatile and inviting space that serves as the heart of the school. The atrium is well-suited to the local climate, with a long and narrow shape that helps to regulate temperatures throughout the year.

ZIGZAG Elementary School, Tianjin, CN / SAKO architects

During breaks and recess, the atrium comes alive with the sounds of children playing and socializing, creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere that enhances the overall learning experience. The interplay of color, form, and function in the ZIGZAG Elementary School makes it a truly unique and inspiring design that is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Image courtesy of Misae Hiromatsu