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  7. Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture

Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture

  • 01:00 - 28 January, 2009
Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture
Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture

Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Bonneuil-sur-Marne, France
  • Architects

    LAN Architecture
  • Client

    Bonneuil sur Marne local authority
  • Budget

    US $1,120,000
  • Area

    380.0 sqm
  • Project Year


From the architect. The Bonneuil-sur-Marne children's toy library is a public building as well as a play space for children. The project creates an opposition between monumentality and the need for a warm, friendly environment within the same building.

It is located in an area where 1960s social housing has had a strong physical and social impact. The exterior and interior spaces are designed to respect the dual nature of the building. The monolithic shell-like elevations are closely linked to the surrounding urban context. We wanted to create a strong urban symbol able to stand out from its environment, whose shell would protect its core and participate in the regeneration of Bonneuil-sur-Marne's social structures.

The design of the Bonneuil-sur-Marne children's toy library resulted from an approach that aimed to simultaneously resolve a number of problems and develop new ideas:

- New use for an existing building

- Design of a children's play area

- Creation of a small-scale public facility in a socially unstable area occupied by large housing complexes

- The difficulties of a very restricted budget (initially, the programme simply called for a new interior layout)

We decided to design a building that had no sense of scale and which would appear timeless, a dense solid mass, an urban symbol standing out from its environment, a shell able to protect its contents.

The result is a volume that seems to have always existed and whose bunker-like appearance is reminiscent of a vernacular construction.

A new skin for an old body

Our strategy was inspired by a medical logic of intervention. The creation of an additional freestanding skin allowed us to control the interfaces between exterior spaces, building and interior spaces, as well as meet the need to provide generous volumes.

The new elevations covering the existing building are adapted to the building's changed use and provide for the incorporation of a new main entrance, an open courtyard on ground floor level and additional surface areas for administrative functions. This solution maintained the existing in-situ cast green-tinted concrete shell.

The decision was taken to create a hermetic separation between the exterior and the open and colourful interior spaces. Children play in a sort of cocoon, rich in light variations, that rises up over the two levels; a simple, functional and comfortable scale and volume fully adapted to the needs of its users.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Children's toy Library / LAN Architecture" 28 Jan 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


KidsInDesignedSpaces · August 22, 2012

This children’s toy library located reworks an old building into a fun new design:

miiri · April 08, 2012

@arcnmss i?te ilham bu h?? via @archdaily

toddler toy, toy for toddler, · November 03, 2011

whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like reading your posts. Keep up the good work! You understand, lots of people are hunting around for this info, you could help them greatly.

nausheen · February 08, 2010

very rigid and massive design ...colors are good

Lucas Gray · May 31, 2009

I like the design a lot although I agree it might not be the most ideal place for a children's center. They could use some more windows and a better connection to the outdoors. However, that would probably ruing the simplicity of this particular design...

HSXK · May 17, 2009

I like it, good way to protect old building, economical,modern and formalized. And the material just make people feel calm!

tieu long · April 07, 2009

i love children . ^^

Keomi · January 30, 2009

Much too brutal for chidren. This is one piece of architecture where the landscape should hide the building! Get the kids out for an art class with spray cans, that should improve the external appearance.

link building service · January 30, 2009

this is indeed another child-prison complex.

Contemporary Art · January 29, 2009

I'm not sure I understand what this building is. It looks like a cafe and a playroom? I like the alternating colors of the chairs. But I don't understand the building.

utopian robot · January 29, 2009

@ Mark--lol

this is indeed another child-prison complex.

JDR · January 29, 2009

Very enjoyable piece of architecture,
but a lack of open-ness (if that's a word)...
The project isn't able to enjoy itself.

Not that convincing after all..

Mark · January 29, 2009

I hate children too.


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