Vienna, 23th District
GMMK , Gert M. MAYR-KEBER ZT-GmbH. , Expertenverfahren Kindergarten Liesing 2008

Embedment in existing topography and outer allotment

The topography of the property features a downward slope of around six metres going from East to West and it is additionally shaped by steep terraces on the southern and northern side. The suggested concept regarding the building, its position and configuration, envisages a longitudinally oriented, east-western situated two-parted structure which “digs” itself into the slope. By means of lateral fill up and excavation in the immediate surroundings planar outer spaces featuring different degrees of elevation are created. From both storeys a direct and barrier-free exit to the out-of-doors is made possible, the evaluation of “Up” and “Down” is equalized. The western “Head of the Building” features in addition to the structure a cylindrical court, which expands the surrounding inner spaces plastically and visualizes the incision into the ground. This way the adjoining eating spaces will be optimally exposed to natural light on both levels.

The longitudinal orientation of the nursery school supports the public connection on the northern side given by the initiators of the competition and enables the bilateral allotment of the main entrance, which is situated on the north-eastern ridge of the building.

By means of the generous glazing towards the exterior spaces the interior spaces are made perceivable, the access supported by the projecting construction of the top floor is weatherproof and without threshold fear. In this area the public connecting path gets expanded, a generous forecourt with a seating area of its own, the “Parent Lounge”, is created.


Building-Structure and inner allotment

Essential part of the interior building concept is the creation of a spatially/plastically structured orientation area which - as a central allotment – makes all parts of the building easily ascertainable/accessible and – at the same time – permits constantly changing spatial perspectives. Here occasionally the bisection and slightly distorted allocation of volumina is founded which feature different functional contents as well.

This space - which is used by everyone - will be structured by elements that are part of the communal spaces at the same time. The open staircase allows perceivable movement in the third dimension, display openings make outlook and perspective possible, the natural light can be experienced in different qualities in the course of the day.

Gaston Bachelard and his “Poetics Of Space” – in which he mentions the meaning of man-made objects that can be important elements for the development of every individual – were among the motives for the inclusion of a conglomerate of architectural elements which not only serve to individualize the nursery school at hand, but also may provide – via their connotative meaning – a developmental impulse for the growing children.

Thus themes like “staircase, gazebo, bridge, cavern, window, oriel, duct, skylight” are functionally included, put along each other and, therefore, result in a total ensemble which allows for a wide variety of interpretations.

The communal rooms are generously opened towards the free spaces. The sunscreen is ensured on the one hand by the construction of the balcony and the projecting parts of the building, on the other hand by means of constructional shading elements in the window area. The skylight of the access area gets screened by a fixed slat-construction, which features a slant that factors in summer and winter sun.


Free-Space Zoning

The free-space zoning reacts on one hand to the conception of the building which enables a direct interior-exterior-connection on two levels, on the other hand to the special topographical circumstances. On ground floor level as well as on the level of the upper floor largely planar free spaces are directly connected to generous front-located play-terraces. Level-leaps on one hand are accentuated by means of walls as clear space boundaries, on the other hand enhanced by means of “lawn-stairs” or rather by a sledding hill. They are dissolved into gentle terrain transitions in the area of the surrounding loop-road. Beside the topographical leaps individual garden rooms get formulated via the change of surface typology and shrubbery, whereupon, however, the preservation of the scenic continuum of the free space is taken into account.

The surrounding loop-road features a handicapped accessible maximum increase of 6%. On the northeastern side the forecourt of the nursery school gets extended to a spatially attached, attractive common room (parent lounge).

Free-Space planning: DI Thomas Proksch (Land In Sicht)