Kindergarten in Rome

Kindergarten Rome, New Italian Nursery, Architecture, School Design Italy, Property

Kindergarten in Rome

Italian Nursery School Architecture – design by Archi+ Studio, architects

1 Jul 2013

Kindergarten in Rome

Kindergarten in Rome, Italy

Design: Archiplus, Malta

It has always been a problem for the adult architect to design for children. A very basic one; since it’s virtually impossible for the adult to wear such tiny shoes once more and re-imagine the needs and the states of mind worn by children of early age (1-3 years in the case of this Kindergarten).

Kindergarten in Rome
image by architects

With such task at hand, we came up with an assortment of ideas built around (or under) one overlying concept; that of having the necessary spaces being covered by a large suspended ‘shell’. The initial vision was that of having a hard, cold, fortress-like shell; which would enclose and ‘protect’ a series of structurally independent spaces built out of soft wood. As the idea progressed, the shell developed into a translucent steel/glass structure which would still allow in diffused light over the spaces while protecting the playing children from foul weather. Thus, the wooden volumes could lend access to their own roofs; creating semi-enclosed playing areas between the spaces and the shell, overlooking the open areas beneath.

Going back the basic distribution of the spaces, aside from the common spaces and other amenities, the brief specified the need for the kindergarten to be divided into three main sections, dividing the 60 children in three different age groups: 0-1, 1-2, 2-3 year old’s. The latter sections have been distributed each around its own courtyard (created by large perforations within the shell above), which in turn feed out onto the main external space, on the longest side of the quasi-triangle, facing a natural park. The intended effect is for the circulation spaces to undulate both in surrounding space as well as levels of illumination.

Kindergarten in Rome
image by architects

The wooden volumes, encapsulating the needed spaces in a fragmented fashion, are, in turn, perforated by an array of colored glass boxes at different heights and instances. Such boxes often intersect the higher corners of the spaces, introducing colored light into the respective spaces. Other examples of these boxes are let loose on the floors of the external spaces; lending the building a diminished sense of scale to which children can easily relate. In all cases, these boxes come in sizes which allow exclusively children to inhabit them comfortably. This characteristic turns these spaces into womb-like little ‘safe-havens’ in which children can feel safe alone. Additionally, the color of the boxes identifies the section which they’re part of.

Other little ideas for this building include that of creating slim vertical slits within the solid wood railings of the upper playing areas. Such gaps are intended to instigate a sense of curiosity in children, who would be hopefully pushed to look through with just one eye and explore the ‘outer world’ one little slit at a time.

Kindergarten in Rome Kindergarten Rome Rome Kindergarten Rome Kindergarten Rome Kindergarten
images by architects

In general, the building is intended to look impenetrable to the rest of the world from the outside; to then open into a warm, welcoming and protected space for the children within.

Kindergarten in Rome images / information from Archi+ Studio, Malta, MT


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