Benetton Nursery / Alberto Campo Baeza

© Hisao Suzuki

Architect: Alberto Campo Baeza
Location: Ponzano Veneto, Treviso,
Client: Benetton Group spa
Collaborator: Jesús Donaire
Structure: Andrea Rigato
Construction Management: , Jesús Donaire, Massimo Benetton
Contractor: CEV spa, Eurogroup spa, Angelo Saran & C.snc, La Quercia, ISAFF srl
Project Area: 1,868 sqm
Project Year: 2006
Construction Year: 2007
Photographs: Marco Zanta, Hisao Suzuku

We built a square box composed of nine smaller squares. The center square emerges to bring light from the heights of the vestibule. The classrooms are arranged in the surrounding squares.

sections & elevation

This square structure is inscribed within a larger, circular enclosure made up of double circular walls. Open to the sky, four courtyards are created that suggest the four elements: air, earth, fire and water.

© Marco Zanta

The space between the perimeter walls serves as a “secret” place for the children. The courtyard spaces, tensed between the curved and the straight walls, are particularly remarkable.

© Marco Zanta

The central space, the highest and with light from above, recalls a hamman in the way it gathers sunlight through nine perforations in the ceiling and three more on each of its four façades.

The children have understood the building well, and a book has even been published of their impressions. They are happy there.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Benetton Nursery / Alberto Campo Baeza" 22 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=57151>

35 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I have a feeling the architect will go mad if any of the children would to get their dirty hands on those ever so clean walls.. do children like or are they psychologically creatively affected by this uber-minimalism?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      totally! kids love crayola crayons…the walls are primed and ready for graffiti/abstract expressionist painting.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I totally disagree… Such a pure building must be inspiring, I am sure they will grow as calm and bright childs!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I concur – children need NATURE – many plants, earth, rocks, trees etc. to climb & to get IN TOUCH with natural materials. defnitly not the plastic animals. All of the above could be incorpurated creatively.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I would love to send my kids there! brilliant genius. People who think this place is not suitable as a kindergarten are irrelevant.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      and how I appreciate human beings who think that other humans can be irrelevant only because they maybe have a different point of view … browsing again through the images the building actually is scary, looking like a cemetery while approaching and like a mental institution from the inside …

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i generally like campo-baeza’s work but this seems like a training camp for some pseudo-elitist “jungvolk” … the sketch, the plans, the frozen (liveless) architecture seems too connected with images from the past. definitely not suitable for educating children to become open-minded and cultured citizens of the future. thumbs down.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The floor plan is brilliant. Rational, light filled, safe and pure. Impressive and inspirational!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow…that child in the last couple of photos looks completely abandoned. Maybe we should call social services?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Clean open spaces, plenty of natural daylight and an intentional, though-provoking design – seems like a pretty healthy space for kids to be in and learn from actually. Thanks for the coverage on this one.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Design very interesting – but children need NATURE – many plants, earth, rocks, trees etc. to climb & to get IN TOUCH with natural materials. defnitly not the plastic animals. All of the above could be incorpurated creatively.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    wow. This seems almost surreal, though this feeling may be due to the character of the excessively controlled phtography. There is not a single element in the photos that suggests the spaces were ever used by people, let alone children. Those in the images appear to at have been dressed to match the character of the design, so maybe when children’s artwork, signage and furniture (hopefully some variety, not all of same character)plus REAL CHILDREN are in place it would feel more comfortable.
    I like the curved wall and the interesting spaces created where it meets the orthagonal elements. The scale of these spaces appears to be well suited for children. Nice bright rooms. Some variety in interior materials could help children identify with where they are.
    The central room seems petty cold, though VERY stylish-can you imagine how loud it will be?
    Still, nice to see high quality design with clean detailing and quality construction applied to this building type.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Are you realy think that it is worse than nursery on roof in big modern cites like NY or worse then kindergarden exists between ofice buildings and supermarkets in London or Moscow? It is good piece of clear architecture, it gives free mind for kids.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      If you always compare to slums, I do get now why some people have difficulties accepting negative comments on archdaily ;) Having seen worse doesn’t mean it is good. And looking at the surrounding, it’s far from downtown NYC.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    VEry interesting sleek design, but we need to remember that children need NATURE – many plants, earth, rocks, stones, trees etc. to climb & to get IN TOUCH with natural materials. to make their own dens. All of the above could be incorpurated creatively. A good example would be Steiner Waldorf Kindergartens (international)

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    For me, the setting is like when you enter this building,you disconnecting yourself with outside world but still sharing the same elements such as the natural light,blue skies,etc.The atmosphere is very calm and it is almost like the transitions between hectic to another peace and spiritual calm environment.
    And lastly, i like those kind of simplicity building configuration generated by basic geometry forms.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    this architecture pursue a separation ,a detachment from the world outside that white perimetral wall..for children would be very negative ,scary.A kindergarten is not a drawing.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think we should look at this pictures as scenographic presentation renderings. Of course children would spread their colorful toys, drawings, books, playgroundsaround objects which would bring this place to life. Architecture comes here as a neutral background, and that’s what the architect wanted to show us – a clean rational design, ready to come alive.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I’ve visited a lot of Baeza’s buildings, and i’m still a resistant against modernism-melacholics. But finally i think that architecture who deal with simple forms and simple topologics relations is an easy-read architecture. In a time where some offices are intrucing paremetric -an uncontrolled stuff – architecture, i prefer this one. I hope the white is gonna change, is gonna be marked by the colours of the time. I don’t know what kind of architecture can answer to our problems, but this one, at least, is not agressive like the others.

    When architects of second generation of post-modernism, like Campo Baeza, will die, who’s gonna be able to have such a link with human beings ? I’m so afraid of today’s architectural production.

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