An interesting in-depth analysis on kindergarten architecture standards with technical documentation, DWG CAD drawings, project examples and the relating 3D BIM model for you to download
In this edition of our Architecture Focus regarding school buildings, we’ll be having a closer look at kindergarten architecture standards, examing a childhood center built in Ponzano (Italy).
The previous articles deal with urban aspects, school activities dedicated spaces, technological plants, materials and furniture.
According to the topic here is a particular project about school buildings that we quickly describe and of which we provide images, rendering, 3D model and DWG technical drawings to download.
The project that inspired this article is the Benetton Nursery designed by architect Alberto Campo Baeza.
Safety and regulation of school building
“A school’s building project arises from the knowledge of children, family and society’s needs, it doesn’t contain voids of ideas, forms and colours, but it’s rich in creative incentives and joy, it’s a transforming and growing up with children themselves dynamic space”.
The project must always respect both the minimal regulatory framework and local regulations (Regional, Municipality, other local authorities, etc): from the requested square meters for each child, to the number of mandatory toilettes and so on. In this case:
- Parking lots and access routes must be easily accessible for people with mobility and vision disabilities.;
- Each part of the school building must be provided with toilets for the disabled for each floor level, which can be easily accessed and in an easy-identifiable position;
- Buildings must strictly respect the latest anti-seismic regulations;
- Earth leakage protection and an adequate level of subdivision of all installations, ensure electrical safety. in order to protect IT equipment. Circuit breaker systems will also guarantee safety from atmospheric discharges and surge protection;
- If any kitchen should be powered by electric energy, an intrinsic safety for the building. ;
- Easily wettable floors, such as toilets, kitchens and outdoors’s pavements must be non-slip resistant with relating material certification. It is important to satisfy both aesthetic and functional requirements
- Parapet heights should also satisfy national regulations and standards
- Windows must satisfy European regulation requirements, fabricated in double blast-proof glass
- Projects must respect national safety standards with regard to: building fire resistance, escape routes, stairs and safe zones sizing, avoiding toxic fumes in the event of burning materials (generally insulation panels or similar)
- Buildings must have maintenance schedule guidelines and an appropriate emergency safety plan for managing evacuations if necessary.
The building houses pre-school age children (from 1 to 6 years) together with a Nursey for 9 to 12-month old children, with a total capacity of 100 seats distributed between children of the local population and children of the company’s employees. A service that can improve life and the quality of work for all inhabitants.
“For every community the best investment is in our children and their education. A future to build together”.
In Building an educational service that aims at excellence, while being aware of the ethic and social role that it represents, the commissioning company, wanted to put relationships, research and community wellness at the center of the while project, entrusting Reggio Children as the pedagogical consulting organisation to help launch the childhood center.
Childhood center as a pedagogical experience
Reggio Children proposed a building for an intense pedagogical experience based on: advanced technical reflections, a constant effort in experimentation and research, and a particular organization of the work.
Globally speaking, the project tends to enhance the uniqueness of the person who learns, and also all the expressive languages, the value of individual differences and the participation of families and citizens.
The architectural project is designed by Alberto Campo Baeza, one of the most well-known Spanish architects, with the Italian architect Massimo Benetton. Alberto Campo Baeza, speaking about his work, said: “We tried to build a nursey not only functionally impeccable, but that can also provide a series of different special sequences. A living building in which children can dream and be happy”.
The building is placed behind Benetton company in Ponzano and was built on a 9500m² green area in the Municipality of Ponzano. The building covers 1900m², the park covers 5000 square meters and the rest of the area consists of walkways and parking spaces. Works started in September 2004 and ended one year later.
Childhood Centre architectural design
The Childhood Centre Ponzano Children intends to host approximately 100 children, divided into pre-school and kindergarten sections.
The architectural project concerned three separate areas:
- the school’s main square building occupying a covered surface of some 1,030 m², with a central square “tower” which is taller than the main building.
- the area between the circular perimeter wall and the main building, on the four sides of the school, are in part covered and in part open to the sky. The four open air teaching and recreational areas, each of about 155 m², are outside the classrooms and the dining room. Each area is paved with a different material: sand, wood, stone and grass. The circular crown around the school, not only forms the outer wall but also provides a covered continuous two metres wide space with storerooms, play areas and toilet blocks to be used during the warmer months.
- the external green space of some 4.710 m² is divided into two areas: the orchard, with fruit trees planted in tidy rows, and the wood with different kinds of forest trees planted in a random pattern.
The project, realized by architect Campo Baeza, is strongly characterised by a central tower that becomes the fulcrum both for the kindergarten’s accesses during the day and for the necessary internal activities.
The architect was looking for an appropriate level of natural light for the tower by setting circular skylights in the roof and in the vertical walls. He also studied the flooring and wall materials so they would be both attractive and practical in an environment for pre-school children.
Spaces distribution in the Benetton Nursery childhood centre
The school rooms (nursery school, toddlers, infants) and the dining room are on the four outer sides of the main building in order to receive natural light. The contiguous technical spaces, such as the toilets, changing rooms, etc., are located into the building and are lit by the circular skylights in the roof.
Colours and materials
Campo Baeza chose white as the dominant colour inside the school and on the perimeter wall: from the plastering of inside and outside walls to the “Trani Biancone” stone floors, the outside window iron frames, the central tower’s linoleum floor and the glazed stoneware floor and wall ties in the toilets and changing rooms.
The only exception is the pale yellow linoleum floor in the school rooms and dining area.
Plant Building solutions
Ecological criteria have oriented the choice of service facilities:
- photovoltaic panels for the production of energy at the service of the nursery were placed on the roof of the building with a rated power of about 6 kW.
- solar panels for the production of hot water for the sanitary system have also been installed on the roof.
- the air conditioning system offers two significant features: first of all, it involves the use of water taken from a deep well, specially designed both for the summer cooling cycle and for the winter heating cycle. Consequently, there are no traditional thermal power station and associated harmful gases emissions during the winter season; the low temperature of the water taken from the well is used for the air conditioning of the summer cycle, with significant savings in electricity.
The inside of the nursery school, furthermore, has been realized with radiating floor panels and with a ventilation system that controls the humidity and the air exchanges as required by law to ensure optimal system functionality. These solutions allow a reduction in the presence of potentially harmful factors for the smaller guests, such as dust mites and dust pollution, ensuring a minimum amount of air movement inside.
“We have tried to build a nursery not only functionally impeccable, but also able to offer a series of different spatial sequences; a living building where children can dream and be happy.”
Alberto Campo Baeza
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