Kindergarten Sighartstein / Kadawittfeldarchitektur


Architects: Kadawittfeldarchitektur
Location: Sighartstein, Land Salzburg,
Builder: township neumarkt am wallersee
realization: 2008-2009, Public competition 2003, 1st prize
Building Volume: 830 sqm
Construction sum: 1.2 Million €
Photographer: Angelo Kaunat, Salzburg


Spatial dimension of the ornamental facade

Situated on the periphery of the site of green meadows and felds, the first impression of the construction site provided the idea for the sculptural facade by way of an elevated grass turf. The oversized “grass blades” communicate the building’s unique identity and provides an orientation marker for the kindergarten. The stylized grass blades are not only ornamental, but also act as a continuation of the landscape theme – namely, the staccato row of spruces visible at the meadow’s edge or the branches of the neighboring leafy trees. The resulting scenic correspondence takes place not only in the building volume itself but also in the structure noticeable from within.

The fat roofed two-story cubic building optimally distributes the functions of a kindergarten. On the ground foor, one fnds the space for the kindergarten groups – with direct access to the garden. The crèche is accommodated in the protected upper story. In the crèche, an expandable third space has been made possible through a planned reallocation of the space.

section 01

The core of the building is a multi-functional hall – a communicative center for children and caretakers, used as a junction for various functions: a space for shared activities and an alternative space for bad-weather activities.


The space of the kindergarten, over the course of time, will be filled with colorful children’s things, furnishings, materials and first works. Thus, we consciously reduced the color spectrum to the single tone variation of ‘green grass.’

The multi-functional space unfolds itself in the building interior. Various shades of green take up the grass theme to define the individual areas.


The group rooms are lined up along the south side with direct access to the terrace and garden. The group rooms are comprised of two units – each with a wardrobe, sanitation area, and a storage space located in between the hall and the group areas. To the east are additional rooms such as the personnel area, administration, quiet room and mess hall.

Color Concept

As the kindergarten is the first station of education, we have chosen green as the ‘color of life, youth, and spring.’

The psychological workings of the color green play an important role: Green is a color that calms and harmonizes. Green enhances qualities such as helpfulness, endurance, tolerance, and contentedness. In color therapy, green is viewed as a neutral healing color that balances without causing bodily pain or counter-reactions. It creates a space for gathering energy and promotes regeneration. In earlier times, the color was one of the most favored for living rooms and salons. Blackboards in schools are green because the color is easy on the eyes and serves as a contrast to other colors, allowing one thus to better concentrate on the essentials. Green conveys the notion of freshness and youth, but also immaturity. It’s not for nothing that the root of the word ‘green’ lies in the old Dutch word “groen,” meaning grow and flourish.


Green as the stage of childish curiosity: CAN YOU HEAR THE GRASS GROW?! Children learn by playing – and when they can do this in a relaxed atmosphere, quiet and fully concentrated, we lay the foundation for every form of learning later in life, for the concentration that is so essential.

Light + Nature

The floor-to-ceiling glassed-in ground floor invites nature straight into the building by lighting up the group rooms with plenty of sunlight; whereas the window openings of the upper level behind the ornamental facade create a completely different lighting and provide the youngest users of the crèche with an atmosphere of nurturing shelter.



The feedback thus far from the educators and the community itself has been extremely positive. Since the handover at the end of March, the kindergarten has been used by the children and the hall, including the large free-standing staircase, has been played on extensively – proving that the natural rubber foor covering serves its purpose well. Those who were initially skeptical and critical of the choice of color are now enthusiastic supporters of it, even the municipal director.

Next to the illustrated cardboard house, there are many further illustrative works of how the architectural structure of the house is played with.

Cite: "Kindergarten Sighartstein / Kadawittfeldarchitektur" 09 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    it’s not like a traditional kindergarten but rather like a villa, it is very special as a kindergarten, very beatiful!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    straight forward but exceptional. the colour tone is soothing and the grand stair is a play space as well as functional

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    That is incredible! So much attention to detail and design. It would be wonderful to see more buildings like this in the future! My favorite feature is all the open windows. They say being in nature is especially beneficial for children…boosts their self-esteem, ability to cope, think clearly, etc. Well done!


  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What a beautiful building! I would love to send my child to your school. I too love the windows but wonder how distracting they would be in a busy area. Obviously, you thought of that and the nature surroundings are a perfect fit. Great job!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    That looks like such a fun and inventive building! I love the space and light indoors and the spring green gives such a lively atmosphere. I’m sure that kids will love it.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i don’t get it, it looks like a nice facade but nothing more. a kindergarten with stairs is not very practicle at all.

    for me a good building is more than a nice facade – form follows funktion.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Yeah…the kids can sit straight on their properly organized chairs while they look at the facade which is hanging there on 2nd floor for them to observe and not touch!!…they can talk silently about how it resembles villa savoy uncannily and when while one of them spills their organic juice, he gets removed in a hurry, never to be spoken of again….

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This project is so amazing and fun, I wouldn’t mind using it as a home, the use of color and space is spectacular, perfect for young developing minds, the facade is inspirational as well. Great.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    to me the façade is repulsive, it’s like a supermarket façade.
    The interior(for what we can see) looks great though.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Lovely design and colour scheme and I’m envious of all that open space!

    As a mother of four, I can say that the best thing for kids is plenty of open uncluttered space to run around with their friends. Add some large balls, blocks and maybe a costume/prop box (and trikes for the flat sections) and they’ll have everything they need.

    A couple of concerns – very small kids+stairs=not so good, although they would be a constant source of amusement for the older kids. Love the visibility of the glazing but it would be a killer to keep clean…the first thing kids will do is put their hands, faces and breath all over the windows all the time. And finally, how’s the energy efficiency of the building? Perhaps Austria doesn’t have the crazy temperature swings we can have here in Canada.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Very cruel and hard for this children to put them in this cube!
    They will grow square headed.
    But how will it be easy for educators! A come back to the old educational methods: to calm the rowdy just put them in the corners…
    How will be their future with the square vision of the world?

Share your thoughts