Monthey Kindergarden / Bonnard Woeffray Architectes

© Hannes Henz

Architects: Bonnard Woeffray Architectes
Location: Monthey,
Collaborator: Nuno Ferreira
Client: Commune de Monthey
Project Year: 2007-2008
Project Area: 1,200 sqm
Photographs: Hannes Henz

Monthey’s new kindergarten is located in the town’s Cinquantoux Park and replaces the former villa that had become obsolete. Conceived as a large house for children, the venue assumes an almost organic shape that merges with the wooded park and offers a range of interior spaces. Following the same logic is its composition of volumes topped by a roof composed of gently slanting sections.

level 00 plan
level 01 plan

The building can accommodate 180 or so children. It offers two floors arranged as six separate units. Each unit is divided into two spaces for activity and rest, with a washroom and toilets in between. Each unit has a distinct character reflecting its position in the building; all benefit from different views of the park, and are bathed in sunlight in the morning or afternoon depending on the orientation.

© Hannes Henz

The variety in the positions of the windows, all identical in size, contributes to a range of perceptions and facilitates visual contact for all ages.

© Hannes Henz
© Hannes Henz

While the construction is traditional, the exterior cladding is inspired by the world of childhood. The facades consist of timber slats finished in an array of toy-like colours, including pink, orange, red and green. Creating contrasting ambiences that are both happy and playful, the interior is composed of a rhythmic succession of coloured floors and ceilings, with as many colours as there are units.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Monthey Kindergarden / Bonnard Woeffray Architectes" 29 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • sam

    I really like the colors and hope they wear well. Otherwise, the building seems pretty utilitarian. One detail bothers me, are handrails not required in Switzerland at all?

  • Lars.
  • mirwen

    this is super… for a children hospital. but for a kindergarten? where is the cozy part?

  • Nika

    That’s really nice and I like the colors… But aren’t they too much for little children? In my opinion, violet or pink walls and celling really make some tension in spite of the fact that they are enjoyable.

    • ross

      it might be a bit much, but I bet the kids love it.

      it’s for the kids!

    • yussef bravo

      I would argue that it is the polychromy of the facade that achieves a certain character in its snowy context. Thus the interiors are a manifestation of this idea as well. One could say the effects of those colors( that is the psychological effects on the cortex of an individual… e.i. yellow: optimistic, attention getter, speeds metabolism. source: were direct intended design decisions the architects/designers made in order to create an architecture that is not only space-making, but deeply concerned and influential to the human mind.

      I guess i would only agree with you if those colors had no clear purpose other than pure aesthetic. However, i can only speculate and say they in fact did receive such attention.


  • Andr

    It seems a lack of natural daylight in this building which is especiallly essential for the child..

  • Ibuprofen

    I like all dhose tv’s on the facade, oh wait, der windys.

    • Chris

      Giant microwaves for the naughty kids.