MaximusJuly 2, 2009
‘s No Dome
One of our hard working sleuths posted us a sly link to this little beauty the other day – many thanks, for the interesting link, to this nice eco-friendly green kindergarten in Sighartstein, Austria by a German practice called Kada Wittfeld Architektur. To be frank: it intrigues me.
There’s a very clear simple diagram to this building – a 2-storey rectangular building surrounded by green meadows and fields, with glazed walls opening out to the sun on the ground floor for the older children, and a creche safely tucked away on the first floor. The shield that wraps around the upper floor is in the form of stylized grass – “Das obere Geschoss erhält eine vorgesetzte Fassade in Form stilisierter Grashalme.” I’m not sure what material it is – hopefully its not something too expensive, like bronze – but it does do a lovely job of shading.
The form seems admirably simple for such a well-intentioned purpose – is there a comparably kitted-out kindergarten for our kleine folk? Ich denke nicht. Inside is featured a clean, green colourscheme, with vast expanses of glazed panels, and sloping seating inside – fit for a king. Or at least a prince. If not a judge. The heart of the design is the multi-functional space with grandstand style seating. It connects the kindergarten below with the toddler group upstairs via a generous interior space. All very curious though – reminds me of something else.
But curiously there is no dome. No giant Roc’s egg due to hatch. Dome’s aren’t compulsory of course, especially when undergoing kindergarten, and the whole ensemble seems neatly ordered and entirely befitting something for small screaming children (although in Austria, I suspect, they all avoid food colouring and their children just walk and talk normally, and don’t go out and wreak havoc – that sort of thing tends to be rather frowned on nowadays). Kada Wittfeld’s website shows that their range of architecture is just as clean and slick and modern as any comparable modernist practice – it shows that the current wave of boxy global modernism is truly worldwide. They have carefully and beautifully detailed timber screens on Aged Persons housing (even the oldies are modernists in Germany – none of your Malvina Major tweeness here) and a fine range of glass and concrete as you would expect from any group of black polo-necked young architekten the world over.
And no, before you go getting all excited over who copied who, the kindergarten project has only just been completed and opened, so clearly these schemes, as amazing as it may seem, have probably grown up completely independently of each other. Byegones. Onwards!