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Budaörs, Hungary 2009. competition

design work: Hársfa street Kindergarten, Budaörs
location: Budaörs
year of design: 2009
status: design for competition
size: 1500m2
team: sporaarchitects –Tibor Dékány, Ádám Hatvani, Orsolya Vadász,
Ambrus Evva, Zsuzsa Balogh, Bence Várhidi, Noémi Soltész, Diána Molnár

The quality, aura and ethos of built environment all influence the quality of life in it and the mood and decisions of its users. This is especially true for the environment of children. Planning a kindergarten building is always a challenge, as nursery years have a principal importance in children’s mental progress and the development of their approach. Stepping out of their family surroundings, this is the first time they meet the grown-up world- though still in a playful way-, this is where they start their way towards becoming separate personalities, the place where they make their first friends and develop the feeling of belonging to a community other then their family. It is important, what built environment they meet here and how they use the building, what materials they see and touch. It is essential that children should already start to learn here the basics of environment-friendly attitude. We have been looking for a composition that fits the needs of children perfectly and is still rich in impulses, functionally clear, well-arranged and simple. Instead of the traditional main corridor structure we chose to string the functions on a well-lit, spacious, street-like ambulatory. The entrance of the building opens to an assembly hall, from which the structure of the whole inner space is perspicuous.
The architectural concept here is based on multilayer. The different layers of the building constitute a transition between the street (outer world) and the playground area (own, inner world). Service functions are placed in the outer shell of the building, on the street side. This outer shell shelters the inner life of the nursery from the street. The mid section is a corridor connecting the classrooms, an ambulatory, or inside street, which broadens out in the assembly. This is the location for gatherings, classrooms open from here. The innermost slice is made up of the classrooms opening to the garden, which ensure enough space for peaceful, undisturbed playing and learning. Different layers are connected by garden areas, and between each two classrooms a small atrium-like garden section is formed, to give each class their own little covered but open court. The covering of the garden terraces serve as a pergola and is punched by nursery children’s logos and held by small bunches of pillars shaped like tufts of grass.
An environmentally conscious concept is not only important regarding the economy and operation of the building, but also serves pedagogical purposes here. Children (and parents) meet the most up-to-date energetic systems such as green roof, rainwater recycling, utilization of sun- and wind- energy, adaptation of wooden constructions, selective collection and recycling of waste. This building makes ecological thinking palpable for children.