Text description provided by the architects. Six years ago, the city council of Kasterlee, a village at the outskirts of Antwerp, organized a competition to design a daycare centre for 120 children. WE-S architects came out on top.
Their design focuses on an absolute preservation of the existing trees and an orientation that guarantees a sufficient amount of daylight entering the daycare centre. It also offers broad views towards the southern playground.
This results in a compact volume that contains the administrative, technical and quiet spaces. In between this volume and the playground sits a transition zone, a transparent ‘outer room’. Two diagonal sightlines visually connect the street to the playground in the back by crossing the compact volume.
These peepholes nestle the building in its surrounding context. A wooden fence at the west side of the building creates a private, enclosed playground. After opening hours of the daycare centre, the fence closes towards the building, making the playground publically accessible.
As such, the building presents itself as a modest protagonist within a green environment that is mainly dominated by giant, fairylike trees.