Kindergarten in Ribnica

Designed by Arhi-Tura and built with natural materials the new kindergarten in Ribnica – Slovenia – is an almost zero-energy building inspired in its shape by the centre of the town, where individual houses, one by one, follow the road.

Arhi-Tura,  Kindergarten in Ribnica, Slovenia
The new kindergarten in Ribnica, designed by Bojan Mrežar, Renato Rajnar and Peter Rijavec and built with natural materials as an almost zero-energy building, has twentyfour playrooms and measures 4,500 square meters.
The conviction of the authors, when contemplating a kindergarten’s position in the modern world, is that a safe, warm place is a precondition for successful development of a child. 
Arhi-Tura,  Kindergarten in Ribnica, Slovenia
Arhi-Tura, Kindergarten in Ribnica, Slovenia

This place should enable the child to get acquainted with the world and society in peaceful and relaxed manner. Therefore, rooms of the kindergarten were designed to embrace the playground in the middle, imitating hands embracing the child and forming a safe, warm place and environment.

Rooms, intended for children of early ages, almost fully embrace the child, while a hug of the rooms, guarding children of later ages, is less closed and points to the child’s leaving for a big, wide world when the time comes. Therefore, authors earnestly hope that the feeling of safety and warmth, given to the children in the kindergarten, will accompany them throughout life.

Arhi-Tura,  Kindergarten in Ribnica, Slovenia
Arhi-Tura, Kindergarten in Ribnica, Slovenia

The floor plan of the building roughly forms a shape of two ‘U’ letters or two pockets or bays, each having a different orientation. The building’s line is strongly zigzagged and adapted to the child’s size as well as the plot’s features. Orientation of certain rooms is optimised for each room separately, depending on exposure to the sun, views, noise, etc.

Further, great care has been taken at placing the buildings in space, taking into account existing buildings in the surroundings as well as natural characteristics. The inspiration was found in the existing network of buildings in the centre of Ribnica, where individual houses, one by one, follow the road.

There are small gaps between individual houses as well as slightly different roof heights. Altogether they form a long network of irregular shapes. Every individual house, adapted to its owners needs, differs from the neighbouring one and yet blends in and belongs to a bigger entity.

Similarly, in kindergarten draft individual rooms (playrooms) follow one another around the common playground. Each is different yet optimal for a concrete location, functioning as a part of the whole. The same principle has been used for designing the roof, namely individuality and difference within the big entity. Authors tried to combine the principle and shapes known to inhabitants of Ribnica for centuries with modern, contemporary principles of architecture.

Kindergarten in Ribnica, Majnikova 3, Ribnica, Slovenia
Program: kindergarten
Architects: Arhi-Tura d.o.o.
Design Team: Bojan Mrežar, Renato Rajnar, Peter Rijavec
Landscape Consultant: Landscape d.o.o.
Structural Engineer: Igra d.o.o.
Mechanical Project: PKK Biro d.o.o
Electrical Project: PKK Biro d.o.o.
Lighting Design And Consultancy: Soncesenca
Green Building Consultant: Mitja Košir
Construction: Riko d.o.o.,
Construction Costs: 8 mil. €
Area: 4.500 sqm
Completion: 2014

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