An inspiring and stimulating interior that encourages children’s development, provides a sense of security while also being educational—this is how the kindergarten designed by the Polish team of PORT turned out in the town of Opole, on the banks of the Oder River.
The architects renovated an existing building and expanded it with spaces intended to fulfill various functions. The main building is complemented by a new, symmetrical outbuilding that is completely covered in glass, blurring the line between the exterior and interior—this solution reinforces the idea of the Montessori education, where children should be in regular contact with nature.
Another important aspect of the design process was making a distinction between old and new interior structures, giving them unique characters: this way, the building preserves the scent of raw, natural materials and exposes the interior’s changes. The walls have largely retained their original, raw character, and some vaults have been recreated with concrete: the brick cladding stimulates the senses, while imprints in the concrete show what kind of formwork was used. Within the building, each room has different heights and atmospheres, granting users the opportunity to find the right environment for themselves. From cozy corners suitable for hide-and-seek to more exclusive areas, there are several spaces in the building so that children can get the right care and attention they need.
Photos: Stan Zajączkowski