This project displays architecture as a “kit of parts” – effortlessly assembled together, much like when a child plays with LEGO blocks. The result is a joyful, colorful and simply exciting environment that evokes a children’s playground.
This seemingly effortless composition is pieced together to accommodate children with three objectives:
- to openly welcome each unique child
- to sustain an environment that nurtures a community
- to broaden each child’s horizon beyond expectations
Horticultural therapy has been proven to be quite effective with children with special educational needs. The curved interior and garden furniture is shaped in a way to encourage dialogues and group activities.
The reception lobby is a hub through which all units in the building and the surrounding landscape are closely and directly interlinked with each other. This is quite intentional – the aim was to create the “Heart” of the project – a connected central place that directly serves all programmatic clusters and is also suitable for meetings, exhibitions, parties and other events.
The colour of each wall corresponds to the programmatic cluster behind it to intuitively guide the children. This colour coding according to function strategy carries through the interior walls of the entire building, and also its facades.
All railings and fences in the project are curved and composed simple dense vertical slats, brightly colored and continuously weaving through landscape and structures. The railings seamlessly transition into awnings over the landscaped roof terraces. The eaves over the building are composed of the same elements as the awning and the railings. The thin, densely positioned slats of the eaves and the awnings provide vivid lace-like shadows over the surfaces and places beneath them.
The building is optimally positioned on the site in a order to maximize the access to views from the rooms towards the landscape and vegetation within the plot rather than towards the neighboring buildings.
Landscape and built environment playfully negotiate the space in a dialogue that culminates high above ground on an accessible treetop walkway. The walkway weaves its way around the crowns of the trees, extending the terrace garden over the ground floor. The pilons that support the walkway mimic the branching of trees, creating a unique mixture between natural and artificial structures. From the top the experience is unique for visitors and staff alike: a different point of view at trees, landscape and buildings.