Text description provided by the architects. Kindergarten in Suwalki is the second kindergarten founded by furniture factory Fabryki Mebli “Forte” S.A. for their employee's children. It is planned for 150 kids. Location in the north part of Poland had a strong influence on the building shape. It's located in the beautiful but windy suburbs. That vast plot gave an opportunity to design a one-story building. Building location and the functional layout are determined by the sun. East part of the building is designed for younger children. They need more light during morning classes before nap. In the afternoon they play outside. Location and orientation of the building provide shade on the playground during hot summer days.
Kindergarten is located in the west part because older kids don't sleep during the daytime so sunlight is useful throughout the whole day. Garden with the small greenhouse is visible from the kindergarten classrooms. Playground, on the other hand, is located on the south to do not distract the children. In a few years, planted trees will shade the playground. Additional toilets for kids are located near the playgrounds. The whole building is surrounded by multifunctional roofed terraces with built-in sandpits. It allows children to play near the classrooms. Furthermore roofing protect from the rain and sun. We indicated roof holes location to shade part of every sandpit. All classrooms have a direct connection with the terrace.
It is possible to open big windows and enlarge the classroom area. During the summer, roofing protects halls from overheating and during the winter, when the sun is low, rays of the sun comes to interior. All classrooms are lighted by skylights. Thanks to this whole interior are full of natural light. The building plan is in H shape. This way there were created two patios – one from the entrance and the second from the garden. The building is surrounded by wooden terraces. It protects from wind, sun and fulfills the function of a doormat. A big multifunctional hall is “the heart of building”. It is lighted by skylights and big glazing from the patio. Inside there are ladders, swings, and wall with mirrors.
When it is raining this room is a perfect area for playing. The land development plan is as important as building plan. The surroundings are a complement to the building and are its continuation. Classrooms have a direct connection with terraces and terraces are connected with playgrounds and greenery. Along east border are flowerbeds and greenhouse. In the garden grow raspberries, blackberries, blueberries as well as many other edible plants. Surrounding is covered by lawns and hills. It is a perfectly natural winter play area. It is illuminated with exterior lights powered by windmill located on the hill.
The additional attraction for kids is spiral slide on the front facade. To ensure comfort to children whole building is adapted to their scale. To make them feel comfortable roofing are lower to make high cubature not overwhelming. From the outside, you can get the impression that the building is small but it grows when you come inside. We gave up with external patio because of bad weather conditions and many rainy days during the year in this part of Poland. Instead of that, there is a big multifunctional hall as “the heart of the building”. It provides children the opportunity to play in spite of bad weather conditions and air pollution.