Date 2021/11/28

▲总体轴测图, Axonometric Drawing

小小萌树是中国大陆首家法国亲子文化品牌,专注于少儿法语与法国文化的引导与教授。2019年初,小小萌树的创始人David于上海苏州河畔寻觅到一处绝佳的新址,委托TOPOS DESIGN为其打造一个真正拥有小小萌树基因的家庭法语学习中心。我们相信,这将是一个如家庭般温馨的空间,她张开双臂,传递友好且真诚的温度。

Petit ChouChou(PCC)is the first French parent-child culture brand in mainland China, focusing on the guiding and teaching of children‘s French and French culture. At the beginning of 2019, David, the founder of PCC, found an excellent new site beside the Suzhou River in Shanghai and then commissioned TOPOS DESIGN to design a family French learning center with the branding genes of PCC. We believe that the new PCC will be a home-like locus, conveying friendly and sincere warmth.

▲外立面, The Main Facade

▲总平面图, Masterplan

化繁为简|Simplify the Complexity


Before starting up, our design team went to experience the French courses for both adults and children. While learning the correct pronunciation of “ChouChou” (French for “dear”), we also deeply understood the meaning of the LOGO of Petit ChouChou: “raising hand” indicates discovery, “light bulb” indicates idea, and “tree” indicates growth.

▲小小萌树logo, Logo of Petit ChouChou


In this particular project, we do not talk about internet-famous effect or IP network flux; we trace back to the tectonic space: make full use of every wall, place every rounded corner, splice every piece of material and settle every beam of light. Just like Mondrian’s persistent abstraction and simplification of the tree in his eyes, our design principle is to simplify the complexity and provide a calm reflection for the over-designed space types of children‘s education in recent years.Matter is sometimes the enemy of spirit.

▲蒙特里安的画,从具象到抽象, The picture of Mondrian, evolving from realistic to abstraction

现实挑战想象力|Reality Challenges Imagination


There is only one real world, but imagination is infinite.The site is located on the first floor of an office building on the south bank of Suzhou River. The original purpose of this property was shops, and each shop is separated by a 2.5-meter shear wall. There were 4 shops, namely 5 shear walls, which is the difficulty but yet the starting point of the design.


The two children’s classrooms by the window are bounded by 4 shear walls on both sides to obtain sufficient natural light. Together with the inside classrooms, the four classroom units are arranged in a shape of triangle, enclosing a multi-functional Shared lobby. In terms of the nearly 60-square-meter Shared lobby, we imagined numerous rounds of proposals, it could be maze, amusement park, or gallery? Eventually, we return to the stubborn shear wall standing in the middle. Since it cannot be removed, why not keep it and enlarge it into a central bar. For this purpose, freshly ground coffee and French airfreight croissants are specially configured, which transform time and space into elegant France.

▲平面布局图, Plan

▲咖啡吧, Coffee Bar


The existing glass canopy of the building is forbidden to have any alteration. We prefer keeping the ritual sense of the entrance and then added an L-shaped sub-canopy underneath. Not for shelter from rain, not for sun-shade, it shimmers at night together with the main fa?ade materializing with perforated aluminum panels. Matter, here and now, becomes the beacon of spirit.A tree in the ideal world, begins shining and growing.

▲入口雨棚, Entrance Canopy

▲入口雨棚细节, Entrance Canopy Detail

形式追随行为|Form Follows Behavior


The different behavior of multitudes determines the ultimate form.Family Learning Center is both of children and adults. The design of fillet corners and enough blank space satisfy the tireless motion of the kids. The table by the window offers a view of Suzhou River and mobile phone charging; the big table in front of the bar provide the chances for negotiation and meals; the booth backward a little bit is especially designed for people who love to stay alone. Compared to the situation happens in other children learning center, where no places are arranged for sitting, the sharing hall allows them to put a better use to their fragmentary time, meanwhile it becomes a communication zone alike to public corridor of the theater.

▲共享大堂, Co-living lobby

▲休息区, Resting Area

▲卡座区, Deck Area


Taking the sufficient usage of each wall is to make each wall have diverse function and expression. The west side of exhibition wall which is able to open exhibitable souvenir and turn off the paste-up scrawl of students is a device, a flash of inspiration, from our project designer. On the east side is the wall of picture books, hand-painted poster light box and acrylic bookshelves, where the original teaching books of PCC are available for reading.

▲翻转墙GIF, Exhibition Wall

▲绘本墙, Picture Books Wall

▲绘本墙轴测, Picture Books Wall Axonometric Drawing


There are many design standards and parameters for children‘s classroom, by which we hope to endow the boring numbers with humanity. The light inside the classroom is the insubstantial elements. We refuse to use direct light. Use the luminous film as the source, a 4000k neutral warm white light as the color standard, after the accurate calculation, we made the space loft but bright. After an elaborate design of the pattern, the shelf can be replenished orderly with objects from teachers and children. The ideal classroom should have experience the freedom and respect toward live, which should fulfill with vibrant vitality and worship of the natural breath.The interaction between human and objects gives the space warmth.

▲教室入口标识gif, Classroom Entrance Identification

▲教室功能柜图解, Multi-functional Cabinet Axonometric Drawing

▲教室功能柜, Multi-functional Cabinet

▲教学场景, Teaching Scene



After the construction, we made a review to our client on how to describe the new PCC French Family Learning Center. David loves symphony. He said, it is as if French musician Debussy’s “Prélude à l‘après-midi d’un faune”, with real beauty and poetic.