Well Looked After: Kindergarten in South Tyrol
Builder: Township Olang
Location: 39030 Niederolang (IT)
The kindergarten joins the tranquil community in a prominent spot. The building lot is located right between the parish church, the graveyard chapel and the elementary school. At first glance, it seems as though the building wanted to keep a bit of distance from its surroundings. It is positioned at the north edge of the lot; to the east, it is transformed into a massive wall that leads along the footpath to the south before rejoining the building as a garden fence on the western edge. Only a closer look reveals the design qualities of this border: the building and wall define an intimate interior space offering a sheltered play atmosphere for the children.
The exterior views respond to their surroundings as well. Towards the street, the north façade and wall are solid and in white. In contrast, the yard-facing façade and interior side of the perimeter are clad in wooden battens. This continues in the fence and creates a cosy feeling. The roof of the kindergarten is a saddle style with a slight slope that appears to continue seamlessly into the wall and is covered in metal sheeting.
The entrance, which is located at the northwest corner of the building, leads into the generous cloakroom area. From there, visitors enter the group spaces, which face the yard. A roofed-in wooden terrace and playful details make this outer area a haven for its little users. The lower and upper floors are home to separate units as well as further communal areas. On the south side of the first upper floor, there is a large balcony. The modular concept means that the spaces in the entire building can be opened onto each other or closed off as needed. This creates the possibility of responding individually to changing pedagogical requirements.
In general, the interior spaces are bright and friendly thanks to large windows. The homey character is accentuated with the choice of materials: wood from the region clads all the surfaces, from the floor to the ceiling, walls and fittings.