Who is OneSky?
P. C. Lee OneSky Global Centre is a 16,000 sf children center that provides free child services for at-risk families in Sham Shui Po. The three-story space is at an historic corner that defines the spirit of Sham Shui Po. It is within walking distance of several public housing estates and subdivided flats. Its location allows the NGO to reach at-risk families with less social connections and changes the neighborhood which has the least public facilities per child in Hong Kong. The architecture and interiors are designed as relational spaces to playfully connect children, parents, and teachers.
The design adapts the philosophy of OneSky’s teaching which is to train positive parenting techniques and show more affection towards children. Warm materials with striking colours created a welcoming exterior with communal functions. The semi-outdoor lobby and its bench turned the street corner into a lively ‘oasis’ for the busy intersection in Sham Shui Po. Shortly after opening, a father in the neighbourhood sat his child down to rest after a tiring hike at the nearby trail. In traditional kindergartens, walls are usually solid to divide spaces. Windows and mirrors through the grand stairs, classrooms, and play area wall divisions are playfully introduced in OneSky to break down these barriers to allow physical and visual connections. These spontaneous interactions among children, parents and teachers foster their affection for each other.
Generous indoor and outdoor open spaces allow flexibility and wellbeing while giving children from the neighbourhood the play space they deserve. Training centre provide tips on parenting and teaching skills. Circulation, learning and playing are integrated three-dimensionally. All three floors and its amenities will serve 3,200 children and parents annually.
The project began with an understanding of OneSky teaching methodology – which include establishing a relationship and teaching with affection. Their methodology and the understanding of Sham Shui Po was merged to form a set of design guideline to inform color, material, room layout and lighting.
The guideline was also adapted into the old buildings with an array of physical constraints, like water leakage, smell, undocumented structure from the previous owner. Many design solutions evolve around these constraints while staying true to the teaching methodology.
The three story is connected through a grand stair and two elevators. The ground floor with 3,000sf is a 5m tall communal space with play structure and wall arts that connects to the grand stair through a secret door. The 1st floor with 7,000sf is a licensed childcare centre for children 0-3 with classrooms, playful toilet, kitchen and play area. The 2nd floor with 7,000sf is a flexible playroom for children 3-6. It also has the office and training centre for parenting and teaching skills. One-way mirror is included in a couple location to allow non-disruptive observation for adult training.
Beside the colorful art wall near the entrance, the Classroom and play area are finished with white wall, wooden flooring, and wooden furniture to create a subdued and natural environment for children to focus and learn. Toilet is the only other location with bright and contrasting colours. The intent is to make toilet training different which is not an easy task for young children.
Client – One Sky Foundation
Design Architect: Avoid Obvious Architects
Vicky Chan, Crystal Hu, Gianfranco Galagar, Krystal Lung, Karlo Lim
Quantity Surveyor: L C Surveyors Ltd.
Authorized Person: David S.K. Au & Associates Ltd.
Contractor: Union Construction (Group) Ltd.
Play Equipment: Rakoon Design Ltd.
Mosaic Mural: Wing, Hu Yong Yi
Children in Photo: Esther and Jeffrey