Gan Rashal Kindergarten is located in the center of the city ofHerzliya. It is surrounded by a primary school, an urban park and 2 story residential dwellings.
The new building is composed of three classrooms (for children between 3 and 5 years old), their outdoor playgrounds.
The starting point for the project was to create a building from the eye level of its users, the children occupying its classrooms, and the design scheme is based on the concept of the playhouse.
The aim was to create a design that draws its inspiration from the playfulness of a pitched roof house, which children can identify with and relate to.
Due to the small plot size, the classrooms are accommodated across two floors, with a strong emphasis on dynamic relation between the interior and the playgrounds: on the ground floor, 2 classrooms open up with a glazed facade towards a courtyard that serves as an outdoor extension of the classroom and as a playground area. On the 2nd floor, an additional classroom is annexed to a rooftop elevated playground.
The entrance to the building is oriented towards north-west, adjacent to an urban park. The proximity to the park allowed the architects to plan the building with almost no fences and walls towards the main facade, thus maximizing the indoor-outdoor relationship between the building and its surroundings.
The design scheme is characterized by a pitched roof, which relates to the nearby residential dwellings and a enables a playful appearance. On the 2nd floor, part of the pitched roof is framed by a light structure pergola, defining an outdoor elevated playground area. – the completion of the form by the pergola also emphasizes the symbiotic relation between indoor and outdoor experience, which is a key element in our pedagogic system, due to Israel's convenient (almost year-round) weather.
The building is cladded with a light grey HPL panels dotted with a three dimensional magenta focal points, resulting from a window placed at a deeper plane than the exterior surface producing an inverted, subtractive gesture.
The interiorsof the classrooms is comprised of a formal learning area, and an informal play area. Instead of the standard classroom scheme, the learning & play zone are divided by a bespoke birch carpentry system, with stairs, openings and voids, thus creating a playful, three dimensional experience inside the classroom.