The WeCare International Preschool project is a tailored response to a need for quality preschool and daycare facilities for all children, including those on the autism spectrum, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The WeCare facility is a series of twelve unique class and activity rooms designed to cater to individual learning programs for each child’s needs. Classrooms are situated to maximise access to natural light and flank a series of pathways that ultimately circle back to the main reception area.

The entryway draws the child's view skyward, with a mix of neon clouds and a softly coloured labyrinth of air and utility pipes and vents. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the natural light inside, softening the transition from the outdoor to the indoor world, ensuring the first step on the path of a child's education is warm and welcoming. Above the corridors are a blend of portholes, corridor lights, and windows in seemingly unpredictable patterns - a conscious design decision to break from the mundane and repetitive layouts of more traditional school architecture.

A balance of repeated visual themes and coloured signage with non-traditional floorplans and lightweight, portable furniture all serve the belief that children make deeper connections in spaces that empower them to engage through sight, sound, smell, and touch. A colour palette that draws on sky and sea blues, carpet patterns that mimic grass growing through cobblestones, climbing walls and waterfalls motifs play off active and passive learning processes for the world around the child and promote an appreciation for the natural world from the very start of a child’s education process.

Close collaboration with the WeCare team and extensive research have ensured that the learning, eating, and activity environments throughout the entire school facilitate the needs and potential responses of children on the autism spectrum.

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