Marien – Nursery - MangerNielsenArchitects

Marien – Nursery

Schaerbeek – Nursery for 45 children – Competition, second prize //

The project is designed as a set of distinctive colored shapes among the trees. This playful image is one from a rigorous project that responds, point by point, to the functional requirements and quality of a nursery.

Visible from the point of access to the site, the building is gradually revealed as you approach the entrance. Daily access to the daycare is simple and the approach to the building set the scene. The building is implanted in the southern part of the plot, close to the access. This allows it to manage a relationship with the large parking lot nearby and to generate quality outdoor spaces for the 3 different children’s sections.

The volumes of the different sections are easy to recognize. Their layout corresponds to a simple principle of north-south and east-west orientation. These principle axes can organize, very clearly, the circulation and access to all sections and ensure rigor at all levels of development.

The space between the sections is where the transition between the family environment and the host environment occurs. It is designed as an extension of the outdoor path and leads to the locker rooms. This space is transparent, flooded with natural light and offers generous views towards the garden. This “daily journey” between inside and outside, between colorful volumes and gardens, allows each child to appropriate the place.  The executive staff are located In the middle of this space, so as to more easily welcome families each morning.

Sanitation and access to the first floor are centralized but secured. On the first floor are the kitchen, storage spaces, staff quarters and terrace. Technical spaces and additional storage are located under the roof.

Building for the children

Each section is thought as a whole on its own, organized around an activity space, a dormitory, a changing room and a specific space according to the ages of the children. Activity spaces have a double orientation and look onto an outdoor space.

The façade openings are situated at different heights for children and for adults and give a precise scale to each space. Skylights in the roof bring natural light to each section.

The outdoor spaces are carefully defined by the positioning of the volumes on the plot. There is one per section and each has its own characteristics in terms of shape, views and sunshine. Sheltered by hills and vegetation, children have the opportunity to develop outdoor activities in an unconstrained environment. The limits of the playgrounds are defined by topography and differences in levels.

The building cladding is composed of colored glazed ceramic tiles. In this way the daycare building appears as a juxtaposition of separated colored volumes such as children’s toys among the trees.

This project was developed with Atelier De Visscher & Vincentelli