Public buildings

Playtime with a view

PLAYTIME WITH A VIEW - Day-care center in Absam-Eichat, Austria

PLAYTIME WITH A VIEW - Day-care center in Absam-Eichat, Austria

With their extension for a primary school in Tyrol the office of Din A4 Architektur succeeded in creating a space that both offers high-grade opportunities for retreat and forms a coherent architectural ensemble. The new day-care center benefits from exciting visual charms and impressive views of the surrounding landscape. Furthermore, the architects displayed great sensitivity in their choice of materials, taking into account ecological considerations

The picturesque village of Absam at the foot of the Karwendel range is well known for its pilgrimage church, which was elevated to the status of basilica in 2000. Anyone walking the Way of St. James in tyrol will also pass through the municipality of Absam, which is considered a spiritual center of the region. The planners of Din A4 Architektur faced the task of creating a childcare center that is open to different age groups yet does not interfere with teaching at the neighboring primary school. The studio Din A4 Architektur, founded in 1993 in Innsbruck as an architecture workshop, is well known for its impressive projects in the field of energy-efficient construction and has received numerous awards for its knowhow. in 2014 the studio, headed by Conrad Messner and Markus Prackwieser, completed the extension for Volksschule Absam-Eichat primary school in Tyrol and once again demonstrated its competence in using regional materials. Taking into the account the diverse needs, the architects built a structure with a spacious roof garden and skylights. For the toddlers, they created a bright, colorful environment with an ideal balance between communal play areas on the one hand and opportunities for retreat on the other. The new build adjoins the existing sports hall to the east and the school proper to the south. By opting to slightly elevate the extension above the existing building, the architects created attractive views of the surrounding mountainous landscape. At the same time, the day-care center is shielded by the school. Large windows mean the children can experience the outside world on the inside too. Thus the final result is a homogeneous extension that forms part of the whole and nonetheless constitutes a “realm of its own” away from the school grounds.

You enter the day-care center to the north. There is a parking area for buggies and the main cloakroom in the foyer. This is where outdoor shoes must be removed, as the rest of the building, including the roof garden, is an outdoor-shoefree zone. The social and dining area is located at the center, with a flowing transition into the so-called Marketplace. As such this space can also be used as a play area, general meeting point or place of encounter. The five group rooms are oriented to the north, with platforms structuring their footprints and providing both storage space and privacy from the adjacent street. Reflective material around the ceiling openings ensures a balanced, natural illumination of the rooms. Direct access to the neighboring sports hall and primary school is provided by the area at the end of the “Marketplace”, which also has a lift.
The colorful material concept is based on ecological considerations and takes into account “grey energy”, the potential for global warming and for acidification. The architects opted for a filigree grey varnished wooden façade, large openings and triple glazing. For the wall and ceiling cladding the team of planners combined wood with certified environmentally friendly gypsum fiberboard panels. Light birch wood was selected for the centrally positioned cloakroom furniture and for the tables and chairs, while the doors were made of spruce. The hard-wearing oak wood flooring in the group rooms and access areas gives rise to a homely, warm atmosphere.



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