GPAC design new childcare centre with high social sustainability values
A new childcare centre in Bühlau, Germany hopes to offer a pre-school that manifests in its form, construction and material, a sustainable and responsible approach to the use of resources and energy. GPAC’s goal on this project is to create a childcare centre seen as a creative and free space of unrestrained fantasy and a place to freely develop the individual and sensory perception.
GPAC’s goals for this project are both numerous and high set. They intend to provide emission free CO2 energy, recycle both rain and wastewater, use low maintenance and maintenance free materials / construction and account for the life cycle costs of individual building components in an effort to make the structure more sustainable and eco-friendly. In terms of the learning environment provided for pre-school children, GPAC intend to create a positive and harmonious environment to awaken inspiration, and to present children with opportunities to conceptualise their own space. The architecture is designed to heighten sensual perception and provide a tactile experience of how space flows.
Similar to large ‘eggs’, the individual forms are nestled in green spaces, becoming part of the exterior landscaping. As a result, the design is clearly distinguishable within its surroundings. The main building axis runs from southeast to northwest. The ‘egg’ is the main form used for this childcare centre. The whimsical tilting and turning of the forms clearly manifests the playfulness that inspired this design. By freely positioning the ‘eggs’, interesting spatial relationships and views are created within the building and to the exterior. The ‘discovery zone’ connects the ‘eggs’ to create a unified space. This zone, in its plurality of design, aims to stimulate the children and aid in the development of their sensory perception through hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling. The ‘discovery zone’ is a communal area to be used multi-functionally for various group activities such as arts and crafts, exercise, and theatre and stage productions or simply for festivities. The room ‘Blind Man’s Bluff’, found over the sanitary tract, can be fully darkened and used as an observatory or planetarium. The glass roof is to be printed with a graphic or floral pattern. The interplay of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ roof spaces create interesting sunlight patterns and illuminate mythical creatures on the walls and floor spaces.