Company Day Nursery in Verona
Situated on an industrial works site roughly 5 km from the centre of Verona, this day nursery has the difficult task of providing a home-like environment for the children of some 1,500 employees of a pharmaceutical concern. In view of the nearby production plant, the architects decided in favour of an introverted building that occupies almost the entire area of the site, with a large open play space in the middle. The actual nursery school occupies only the northern part of the development. On the south and east sides, the structure consists of a sheltered realm, comprising no more than a facade and roof. The children are divided into three different age groups, the spaces for which are fitted out accordingly. For the small children, emphasis was placed on haptic surface qualities and soft colours. A lot of books and playthings were provided for the middle age group, while the older children have a small working area at their disposal. In each of these three spaces, which face on to the courtyard, there is a zone where the children can have breakfast and lunch together. The group rooms can also be joined by sliding aside glass doors, so that children of different ages can mix with each other. On the side facing away from the courtyard, enclosed “sleeping spaces” were created in conjunction with the group rooms. These pairs of spatial units share joint access areas – which also serve as cloakrooms and stores – so that no long corridors are formed. To accentuate the domestic atmosphere, the architects specified spruce and larch for the roof structure and the facade as well as for the furnishings. The focal point of the development is formed by a grassy mound in the middle of the courtyard. The external areas have a restrained design with different pavings. The terrace is finished with larch boarding, while on the ground beneath the peripheral roof, there is an alternation of soft and hard finishings. Here, the children can arrange tables and chairs, suspend swings from the structure and enjoy protection from the sun and rain while playing.