13. PUBLIC KINDERGARTEN
P. De Amicis
Expansion of a pre-existing kindergarten through the construction of three new classrooms and new communal spaces.
The pre-existing communal and service spaces (offices) are insufficient in number and in size. The expansion has to amend such deficit and make these spaces more usable for both, office employees and the community.
The project is based on the willingness to maintain the symbolic and representative value of space in kindergartens. The pathway, a communal space that makes the interaction possible among different groups, links old and new, distributes additional functions, and becomes itself the privileged space for common activities. Just as in urban spaces, elements with a specific architectural meaning also appear in the pathway, which is defined through a sequence of contractions and expansions of spaces. On the one hand, hut-shaped classrooms reminding of the earliest idea of home, on the other hand, differently shaped and extended volumes created for group activities, all of them communicating and highlighting the differences between public and private spaces. The natural lighting comes from the sky and from the walls, while the visual relationship with the outer space privileges views of green areas and the countryside. The offices' tower links the structure with its context: thanks to its height, the tower becomes a perceptual reference point. The so-structured kindergarten becomes a reflection of the society and develops an early idea of socialisation and belonging in the children.