Vilnius District Municipality together with DO ARCHITECTS shows an example of what a public kindergarten should be like – the renovated kindergarten “Pelėdžiukas” was opened in Pagiriiai and presented to the public. The needs of the children were the first consideration in its construction, and the design and construction process were modified to save the huge spruce tree in the kindergarten yard. In Pagiriai, the kindergarten “Pelėdžiukas”, which was surrounded by Soviet apartment blocks, has been extended by building modern architectural extensions. The new part of the kindergarten consists of 4 nursery and 2 kindergarten groups, attached to the existing kindergarten building. The old and new buildings are connected by common spaces and a covered courtyard. The main change after the renovation is the enclosed courtyard.
|Floor area||2 200 m2|
The children go out on their own, and the daily games and kindergarten events take place there. The courtyard becomes the main entrance area where parents, children, teachers and the community meet. The courtyard is surrounded only by common spaces – from inside the children can always see what is going on outside, and from outside they can see what is going on in the canteen, the lounge and the event area. This is how natural socialisation, curiosity and a sense of community are developed. The design and construction of the kindergarten has also paid particular attention to the trees that grow there. At the very beginning of the project, the extension of the kindergarten was planned for a completely different location, but when a beautiful spruce tree arrived and was seen growing on the site, it was preserved, as were the other trees there.
The kindergarten is like an island, which is not integrated into the urban fabric. The child is not educated as a city dweller.
A new volume is created to highlight the main entrance to the building. The square and public gathering space in front of the kindergarten makes the building an integral part of the neighbourhood.
The existing entrance leads directly to the group room. There is no opportunity for all kindergarten users to meet each other and get to know each other at least by sight.
The main entrance leads to the hall, where all users of the kindergarten can meet. The space is naturally lit.
The existing commonly used spaces do not encourage relations among the users. These spaces discourage unintentional encounters, thus, users of the kindergarden are not visible to each other.
The corridors are replaced by two-storey multifunctional spaces in between groups, which work as well as changing rooms, playing rooms or even a gallery. The transparent partitions allow children to observe the action around them.
The existing common outdoor space is too large and unmanageable. The space lacks security, so the child does not have the opportunity to go outside independently and going outdoors needs a lot of preparation.
A hierarchy of outdoor spaces is created. Each group has a direct connection to the outdoor terrace, which allows children to go outside independently. The existing yard and playground can be reached through the common gathering spaces.
Uniform and closed group spaces do not allow the child to choose which space they want to be in. The segregation and closeness of the spaces encourages a lack of relationships with other users.
Group room is transformed into a multifunctional space, where children can play, learn and have a direct connection to the outdoor activities. The transparent doors and partitions encourage children to observe the surrounding environment and feel safe.
Project text by Rebuild the Wonderful based on the information provided by the project authors
Pictures by Archikon