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Kindergarten Design by CEBRA

This new kindergarten design in Vonsild by the Danish architectural firm CEBRA attempts to provide a learning expience for young children stimulating their curiosity and creativity, the architecture facilitating this through play.

"Using the building should be educational and this is why we have deliberately avoided typical building features. The children should learn from this very early stage that a house does not have to look like the typical child drawing with a pitch roof, a door in the middle and a window on each side of it. This building has a jagged roof, it has no corners since everything is rounded and the main volumes have very few right angles. The kindergarten will demonstrate quite effectively that a building can look anyway you want it to." - The Architects

It is the architects' drawings which I find greatly interesting - and shows the rigorous thought process that went into the design. Here is my interpretation of these:

The perceived scale of objects.

The experience or 'journey' through a village - the various 'parts'.

The play of light and shadow.

The different movements through space.

Learning about colour.

Abstract objects versus 'real' objects - for children to interact with.

Surfaces for children to interact with - draw on.

Varying types and sizes of space.

Love the wee detail of Michelangelo's 'Creation' on the ceiling.

Shows a partition opening serving as a link to the second floor and letting light to flood in.

The curving outer wall serves as a roll of paper for children to display their creative works on.

The various 'blobs' serving different activities.

The graduation from interior space to exterior (or landscaped) outdoor space.

Taking the traditional monopitched roof of the house and translating it as a light feature, the jagged form contrasting with the organic and flowing of the outer walls.

Each 'blob' being utilised for a separate activity.

Entrances and exits.

A section showing thermal qualities - light penetration and air flow.

Site plan - shows how the 'blobs' gradually break down and fade into the landscape.

The finished building:

Not quite as successful as I would have hoped. It is a shame that the choice of materials are somewhat bland, sterile and cold. The landscaping is nice, with the grassy mounds and curving paths. Would like to see some photos of the building in use!

Once again the interior's choice of materiality is less than inspiring with the drab vinyl coloured flooring.

The architects here are fairly successful in realising the potentiality for play in kindergarten architecture. However, as it seems with many contemporary examples the architectural environment lacks warmth - a quality that is important for the care and nurturing of young children. The qualities that induce feelings of 'homeliness' and stability.


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