If you see an elephant eaten by a boa constrictor snake instead of a hat, then you should definitely see this kindergarten. "Yellow Crocodile", which is the building of a kindergarten in Aleksandrów Lodzki designed by XYstudio, is an interesting story of what a kindergarten can be.
Kindergarten No. 6 in Aleksandrów Łódzki posed a difficult challenge for the designers. The building and its surroundings were located on a difficult triangular plot, to which it had to be adapted. The building was constructed using two technologies - the first floor was brick, while the first floor was made using CLT - solid laminated timber technology.
The use of two different technologies made it possible to carry out construction work on the two floors simultaneously. The solid laminated timber was covered on the outside with yellow seamed sheeting. The wooden material is visible in the interiors instead. Such construction is devoid of thermal bridges due to its airtightness. The plan of the kindergarten has been simplified as much as possible. A spacious hall with a checkroom leads to the administrative area and the section for the youngest children.
The kindergarten was located on a challenging triangular plot of land
Dorota Sibinska, architect and co-founder of XYstudio, talks about how the kindergarten was built, why such solutions were decided upon and what the immediate surroundings of the kindergarten will look like in the future.
Wiktor Bochenek: How was the idea for the "yellow crocodile" born?
Dorota Sibinska (XYstudio): No one knows that, it just arose. It was a difficult plot of land, triangular with strange planning restrictions. Initially we designed the building with a flat roof, only after we chose glulam technology did we change the way we thought about this floor. In this process, the original shape emerged. Then we started looking for a material for the facade, a reasonable choice turned out to be sheet metal, which was to be laid in a seam, but... one of us came up with the idea to lay the panels in a diamond pattern, and then the "crocodile" was born.
The floors differ not only in the technological solution, but also in the color scheme
Victor: What is the reason for such a solid solution? Why did you decide on CLT technology?
Dorota: Time, time, time. The kindergarten was supposed to open on September 1, and we started design work in November. Not even a year passed between signing the contract and opening the facility. Time was chasing us, we were looking for a technology that would cheat it, and that's how we ended up with CLT. The material even seemed perfect to us especially for the children and, by the way, for the climate. After pouring the ceiling over the first floor, the wooden part arrived and three weeks later the finishing work began. The whole construction took evenly six months - on schedule.
The use of glulam technology can be seen in the interior, where it was exposed
Victor:What other technological solutions were important for this building?
Dorota: The use of CLT technology entailed a whole series of unusual solutions. We decided to try to return to natural ventilation, keeping operating costs to a minimum. We don't have any ventilation ducts, built-ins, etc. in the wooden part. It is quiet, warm and pleasant. We finished the first floor built with traditional technology in a very simple way, playing mainly with colors, and our pride is the mosaic of CLT remnants decorating the entrance hall.
Victor: How was the immediate surroundings of the kindergarten solved?
Dorota: The environment of the kindergarten is designed very minimalist - we have grass, hills, a forest and islands with toys. There is a lot of space for running, a terrace with a sandbox. A wooden obstacle course will soon be built. The trees and shrubs are tiny today, only when they grow up a bit will it be possible to judge the final effect. We are currently working on the second part of the KIDO complex, which will complete and close this space.
In the immediate vicinity of the kindergarten you will find a playground around which greenery has been planted
Wiktor: How were the interiors designed, along with the children's spaces, what is worth noting?
Dorota: The interiors are, in a sense, a "self-play". The spaces we designed, especially on the second wooden floor, didn't actually require any additional work. The work mainly consisted of selecting a subdued color scheme to match the natural wood and a few cubic elements that define each room. What to pay attention to? As always on the small user and his needs.
The color scheme of the interior in the nursery was toned down - the basic color scheme, white and wood were used
Victor: What are you most proud of, and what was the most difficult?
Dorota: First of all, we have great satisfaction that the kindergarten has been so warmly received by the children and their parents. What was the most difficult? I'll answer like an engineer: ZLII [fire regulations for preschool facilities - editor's note] in CLT.
Wiktor: Thank you for the interview!
kindergarten in Aleksandrów Łódzki