The childcare center “Löffelohr” (bunnyears) playfully takes on the name of the park it neighbours. In a new building complex directly adjoining the “Hasenheide” (rabbits meadow) park in Berlin, 40 children are cared for within 260 square metres and a large outdoor play area. The design concept addresses the location of the day care centre, between the street and the greenery of the park – accompanying the children from the noisy city to the natural world of play.
Client: Loftschloss gGmbH
Size: 260 sqm for 40 children
Services: LPH 1-8, funding application
Completion date: 10/2021
In the entrance area, children and parents are welcomed within a city flair: an advertising pillar in the center of the room serves as a bulletin board and exhibition space for the children’s pictures, as well as – due to the priming with blackboard paint on the entire element – a painting surface for large-scale chalk pictures. The column itself is hollow and offers a cave to hide in, inviting the children to start playing within it as well on the steps surrounding it, which can also be used as a dressing aid for parents and teachers.
Opposite the column, flooring which continues along the wall marks the spotlight of the lamp above – taking inspiration from the street lamps in front of the door. The color scheme evolves within the kindergarden from bold black, orange, blue and purple to softer brown, rose and green tones. Here, the wardrobe is not just an entrance area to the daycare center, but a transitional space from the city to the natural world of play.
A children’s restaurant and atelier combined in one space. A long buffet at children’s height on one side of the room and opposite, a platform with rubber wall protection on which the kids can paint large scale paintings.
The mobile furniture, from tables and stools to shelves on wheels, allow free and flexible use of the large room. Large windows offer an unobstructed view of the greenery and can be opened to the outdoor play area.
The triangular shape accompanies the children throughout the entire kindergarten. From the light cone of the street lamp, to the abstracted trees, to the murals in the corridors and the mirrors in the children’s bathroom – the triangle can be found everywhere and connects the rooms into one unit.
A flexible layout increases the potential uses of the space. As a result, each room can be structured according to the needs of the individual group, while at the same time the furniture is transformed into another element to play with.
A strong aqua blue surrounds the children in the bathroom. Here, too, the rubber flooring becomes the protection for the walls which seamlessly extends up from the floor. As a result, there is no need for tiles at all.
The design theme of triangles is reflected in the shape of the mirrors and wooden elements in the children’s bathroom. Introducing the theme of nature with abstracted reeds and water plants.
Sleeping in the forest, toying in caves and playing tag among the trees – in the relaxation room, the trees and colours of nature are becoming more and more prominent. Natural materials combined with calm colours and simple shapes evoke associations of fir trees and forest floor.
Caves with climbing opportunities are a place of retreat and experimentation. Alone or in small groups, children can withdraw from the activity in the main room. Varying needs require diverse spatial offers within the day-care centre.
Climbing surrounded by nature – in the large group room, the spacious climbing unit occupies one whole side of the room. A cave, a plateau, a wavy staircase and a climbing labyrinth with real wooden trunks offer a variety of options for movement and a nature-based playing experience.
Natural materials from wood to carpets made of goat hair and real hardwood trunks create a comfortable environment for play and a healthy room climate. Coordinatively and sensorially, the climbing unit provides a multifaceted experience. The children are being challenged and thus encouraged in their development.