Architektura: The task of the city was to design a new kindergarten with a sports focus and a gym building. The nursery school is planned as part of the new development of the Říčany-Větrník area. We designed three objects and connected them to each other – a kindergarten, a gym, and a garden. The gymnasium will be built, while the kindergarten and part of the garden are constructed.
First we thought about the child as a phenomenon – what constitutes childhood? Not only the family, the experiences on the playground, it is also the objects they visit, the institutions that fit them into the System. And what physical abilities does the child have? What does aging lose? We found a lot of examples of non-traditional nurseries from all over the world. The child is in the System and the purpose is to become a proper and non-problematic part. That is why we see such a development of alternative education. The topic of education as a state discipline is an important phenomenon for us personally. In our civilized world, we talk about economic growth, but not enough about all details of education, about the mystery of childhood.
However, the Town of Říčany showed courage and generosity from the beginning. Many meetings took place with teachers, representatives of sports clubs, and the management of the Town of Říčany before the proposal was settled. We sensed interest in the project, thank you for that. The children themselves were essential – their games, movement, vision, and scale. Children's spontaneity, disorganization, unpredictability, purity, curiosity, optimism and unburdened by the bitterness of life.
We divided the mass into several parts. A cube in which there are facilities, offices, entrances... everything necessary for practical functioning. Individual classrooms are then connected to this, which are no longer rectangular and connect to the garden. They are free-form worlds to play with. The pagodas form the silhouette of the house and from the inside, a hiding place, an Indian tee-pee, a space where the light falls from triangular windows, visible wooden structures like tree branches.
In the entrance atrium, there is a spider web, a play area accessible from all classrooms, a rope center right in the building. We hope it will be used and the children will swing and fly. The net is carried by tree trunks that have been thanked for their service. The atrium also serves as a community space, for singing, acting, exhibitions, and theater.
The nursery school has two faces, it holds a picture of the street, it is playful in the garden, it does not function like a traditional house here. Here it shakes, matter breaks up and space opens up for the Sun to penetrate. The main entrance is from the street, with two classrooms on the ground floor, and two upstairs. The street facade of the kindergarten is partially designed as vertical greenery, we hope that it will sweep and thicken to one day absorb the entire facade. The entrance is supposed to resemble the entrance to a mysterious temple or spaceship. The management of the technical infrastructure is partially visual, letting the child see where the water, electricity, and air flow. The colors are cheerful, they should also illuminate the surroundings.
Behind the house, there is a playground, currently unfinished, partially completed. Here, too, we wanted a green fantasy world to be created, as if from a children's book. The construction took place with pressure on finances, not everything was realized according to our ideas, but this is standard in our job.
We wanted to build an object for children that is not an institution, it is playful and will enable the development of creativity and all the beautiful specificities of the child's soul. An object that will create subconscious images for children that may one day arise in adulthood to develop Something…
The Architektura studio is led by David Kraus, a graduate of the FA ČVUT in Prague (1989–1996), who studied with Professor Šik (New Czech Work) and since 2002 owns the Architektura office. The realizations of the studio are in the Czech Republic, USA, Germany, Oman and Slovakia. In his work, he develops his own alternative path of architecture, works with unusual sources of inspiration. The experimental work of David Kraus was presented at the VISION 1997 exhibition. The documentary White Crows (ČT) was filmed about him. He lectures, taught at VŠUP, FA ČVUT, TUL Liberec, exhibits, publishes, his work has been awarded a number of prizes (for example, 2018 Czech Architecture Prize, 2018 Grand Prix National Architecture Prize). His art work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery and presented in professional and lay media at home and abroad. The work and experience of the studio includes the entire process, including implementation, it combines architecture with construction itself. Architecture emphasizes practice – the goal is a realized building that enhances the team's collective experience. Architecture cooperates with young architects forming a small community works in building named Forge. A characteristic feature of Architecture is the specific visual style of the proposed solutions, the principle of the Journey and the Story. Architecture combines contemporary modern technology with the simplest construction, producing things with passion and individualism. Our clients were or are: Prague Airport, the Fire Rescue Department of the Capital City of Prague, the General Directorate of the Police of the Czech Republic, number of cities and municipalities, the Lithuanian Embassy, Europapier, Wurth, Ikem, Thomayer Hospital, Bulovka and a number of private investors. We are looking for information, inspiration and motivation outside of architecture - in martial arts, drumming, visual arts, writing or physical work; at sea, in the forest, on the street. We strive for human versatility, unclassibility, unstylishness, we admire the principle of the Renaissance man. We believe in the real and present reality - it is an opportunity for us, but we also believe in worlds behind the mirror. We are still looking for the Czech way…
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