When architects think of children: An unusual kindergarten has a slide instead of stairs

Not a boring and gray building, but a timeless and imaginative building. They took a very innovative approach to expanding the Montessori kindergarten in Jablonec nad Nisou. And the result is worth it. Mjölk Architects and Projektový atelier David are behind the project.

Evening view of the building of the Montessori kindergarten in Jablonec nad Nisou. The authors of the project believe that kindergartens should be extraordinary buildings whose fundamental function is to make children feel that the world is a wonderful and fun place to live

| Photo: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice

The reconstruction of the existing listed building of the Montessori kindergarten in Jablonec nad Nisou and the construction of a modern extension began in 2020. The budget was 50 million crowns, with a grant of more than 28 million crowns from the European Regional Development Fund. The original building is a historical building, which was followed by a two-story reinforced concrete structure. And she really is “made of a different dough”.

The ground floor of the house is fully glazed thanks to the large windows all around, which allow the sun's reflections from the water surface of the pools to penetrate into the interior spaces.

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“In its form and materiality it contrasts with the original, larger building. It is a simple prism with several projections, completely covered by a stainless steel mesh,” said Mjölk Studio partners, architects Jan Mach and Jan Vondrák, describing the project. Thanks to the expansion, the kindergarten was able to be expanded by an entire class.

Inside, the building is divided into a ground floor and three mezzanine floors. There is a large skylight in the roof. It is excellently thought out that there is space for children to hang out on the mezzanines. At the same time, each mezzanine has a different atmosphere and shape. So children can feel different in everyone.

Children can slide through the tube to the ground floor.Children can slide through the tube to the ground floorSource: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice

The extension is connected to the historic kindergarten building by a “neck” on the ground floor and second mezzanine. “From the ground floor there is a direct exit to the concrete play terrace above the parking lot. From the second mezzanine, an outdoor slide leads back to the ropes, which children can use to accelerate their descent. From the third mezzanine there is an exit through the door to the facade, where an external staircase leads to the roof terrace. “It is equipped with a safety net and can therefore become a large summer playroom for children,” describe the architects Jan Mach and Jan Vondrák.

“In Jablonec we have boldly designed the expansion of the kindergarten. At the same time, we can always say with pride that the main criterion in the design was fun for children,” say the authors happily.

Special requirements for kindergartens

At the same time, the creators of the project stated that the design of a kindergarten is generally a rather complicated process due to the compliance with a number of standards.

“You want to create a place with a clear goal – to make children happy while they explore the world, and instead you create a complex mathematical equation.” You count the cubic meters of air exchanged in a given time. They demonstrate that there will be constant standard lighting for every square meter everywhere. The building must not be made of wood. Why? And it cannot have more than two floors. Why? “We don’t know,” the architects confessed.

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According to the director Vlasta Hillebrandová, the children in the classes are of mixed ages, from under 3 to 7 years old. The total capacity is 76 children, looked after by six teachers, two chefs, a school teacher and a catering manager.


DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: devancole@dailynationtoday.com.

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