Fact FileName of Project: Toy Blocks
Site Area: 5767 sqm
Built-Up Area: 1730 sqm
Photographer: Atik Bheda & Umang Shah
The brief was to create a kindergarten rooted in the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach - an endeavour that required extensive research and an in-depth study of the Reggio Emilia philosophy alongside Waldorf and Montessori. This philosophy formed the bedrock of the design. In architectural terms, the goal was to embrace an open-concept planning that would create a seamless flow within the learning space.
At the heart of the design of Toy Blocks kindergarten is a vibrant courtyard. Surrounding it are nine distinct structures, each serving a unique purpose, yet connected through passageways that blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. A feat of architectural ingenuity was the design of a basement that stayed concealed from the rest of the design.
The kindergarten’s essence lies not only in its architectural marvels and sustainability but in the experiences that it offers to the young inhabitants. The transparency of our project, characterized by open spaces and an unobstructed view of nature, establishes a profound connection with the environment, and where every element of design and planning contributes to a rich and transformative user experience.
Hartmut Wurster, Principal Architect
The design incorporates an expansive play area in the entrance zone, and water features that add an extra layer of sensory experience. The architecture, while simple in its exterior presentation with lime-plastered facades and sleek Swiss steel windows, belies the complexity of the interiors. Every element of the design, from custom furniture to furnishings, was carefully considered to provide a visually stimulating yet comforting atmosphere. The colour palette features pastel hues. Each classroom is a microcosm of discovery, with distinct themes ranging from outer space to the world of Lego, from oceans and mountains to forests and more.
Safety and comfort of the children and educators are at the forefront of the architecture. The challenge was to baby-proof the environment while maintaining the ergonomic needs of adult users. A defining feature is the north-facing skylights that usher in an abundance of natural light. The graphics adorning the walls, crafted by Kalakaari Haath; create an immersive and visually engaging experience for the children.
Every aspect of construction was carefully considered to minimize its ecological footprint. The materials for construction include AAC blocks and locally sourced eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Deep-set windows, strategically placed at varying heights and angles, introduce an element of playfulness and offer different vantage points.