The nursery on Hamburg’s northeast side occupies a large site where the children can play amid mature trees. The relationship to nature is an important part of the school’s pedagogic concept.
The building integrates in the small-scale fabric of neighboring sin¬gle-family homes: the build¬ing mass has been apportioned in smaller subunits which are linked by open courtyards.
Each of the classrooms has an adjoining quiet room and lavatory. Classrooms, kitchen and the auxiliary spaces are grouped around a shared space for active play. At the centre of the nursery is an atrium that brings daylight into the interiors. The surrounding corridor– reminiscent of a clois¬ter – is used for circulation, interaction and links all programmatic functions. It is spatially and acoustically uncoupled by means of a floor-to-ceiling porous wall that is infilled with wood or glass.
Different functions – such as children’s cubbyholes, seating nooks, shelving space – are integrated in these walls. Because the latter is transparent, staff members can keep an eye on the goings on in the house. Glue-lam beams are visible throughout the building. The roof structure of the central zone consists of primary and secondary beams that are supported by eight solid-timber columns.
The cantilevering edges of the roof take the form of upstand beams allowing for a column free glazed façade. Rough-sawn, un-edged larch boarding forms the cladding; the appearance of the various uneven edges blends in with the natural setting. The alternating arrangement of the terraces contributes further to melding the building with its lush surroundings.