Qingdao Atour Town Parent-Kid Center influenced by Flying Carpet

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Qingdao Atour Town Parent-Kid Center, designed by GN Architects in line with the Atour Town project, is located on Cang Ma Mountain in Qingdao, China. It opened in September 2021, and during the National Day holiday, 150,000 people visited. The building is influenced by a distinct architectural concept, ‘duck architecture,’ which refers to architecture created by symbolic forms. Therefore, the architects aimed to explain the purpose of the building to the public, particularly to children, using simple language and images. Described as a ‘flying carpet,’ the center features a roof that curls up at the edges, resembling the folds of a flying carpet.

The team created the design concept by creating an imaginative scene: a rolled-up floor reminiscing of a magic carpet taking off. Lifting up the carpet then created the roof of the structure. Between the magic carpet and the ground, the adhesive strings represent the white forest that works as a facade.


The distinctive rooftop is approximately 1,000 square meters and partially accessible due to safety concerns. The rooftop’s surface is composed of viscose stone, mostly used for pavement selections, which also highlights the team’s desire to create a walkable roof. The lucidity roof consists of a double-curved roof, double-surface ceiling, and arc beams with horizontal support in the middle.

The building program includes a multipurpose hall, theaters, a staircase, and a cafe hidden under a large roof. These independent programs divide the ground floor. The gaps between these functions create the hall and aisles. The design highlights the building as an exhibition space, while the wall and roof also being part of the exhibition. The building is surrounded by glass curtain walls on three sides, with a small courtyard next to the staircase. This transparency and openness allow natural light to flow into the building efficiently. During the day, the interior is a white art gallery filled with light and curved walls, and during the night, it becomes the facade.


The interior design is minimal yet attractive. A few custom-made metal and transparent plastic furniture pieces decorate the space, and color choices are simple to avoid childish symbols that might negatively affect children’s perception of beauty.

The structural pillars are also hidden to reduce visual disturbance. Different approaches are used to hide the columns, such as the main column integrated into the wall, another curtain wall column with a special cross-section design, and another hidden under the eaves of decorative columns.

Project Info

Year: 2021
Location: Cang Ma Mountain, Qingdao, China
Architects: GN Architects
Lead Architect: Shen Lijang
Project Team: Cui Hengxuan, Cong Yanfei, Xu Zheng, Lu Qiyue, Fan Zhigang, Deng Tengteng, Zhou Chuan, Fan Taoxiang, Chen Xuebo, Wang Yuqi, Wei Ming, Huang Weijing, Qiu Jiajia
Photography: Zhang Yong, Liang Wenjun

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