Kindergarten BB

Open Anonymous Architectural Competition for a new, 11-unit, timber kindergarten

Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia, 2020


11-unit, timber kindergarten,

designed as an intertwined cluster of barns – typical local farm buildings in the Bohinj Alpine region.

The location for the planned construction of the Bohinjska Bistrica Kindergarten is rather flat, as it is located on the glacial valley plain, slightly sloping to the north, surrounded on all sides by picturesque ridges of the Julian Alps. The site is located on the edge of the Bohinjska Bistrica settlement next to the existing Primary School of Dr. Janez Mencinger, built in 1974. On the south side of the area the construction of individual residential houses is planned whilst on the north, it is bordered by a sports field and the primary school in the west. The new kindergarten is to be located in the extreme NW corner of the plot, right next to the primary school, where it will be most efficiently connected to the access road and will allow for maximum use of the site for children's playground on the S and SE side of the building.

The new facility will be oriented in the N-NW and S-SE direction, which is the predominant direction of the agricultural fields in this area, as well as the optimal orientation for playrooms on one side and service areas with multipurpose space on the other, which benefit from N-NE light. The proposed kindergarten layout creates a large, southern playground and a smaller-pocket playground on its North-East side, allowing play in the shadow of the facility during the hot summer days. The compact floor plan of the kindergarten allows for a large residual area for the needs of a children's playground (approx. 4.400,00 m2).

The design starting point was the kindergarten’s basic building block inspired by a “barn” – a typical local farm building in Bohinj Alpine region with stone or roughly plastered masonry ground floor and a steep wooden gabled roof which makes good use of the volume above the rectangular floor plan. The lighter wooden volume usually hangs over the heavy looking ground floor, especially if the barn is oriented to the south.

Individual building blocks – “barns” are connected in a compact cluster which leaves room for potential modular expansion of the building and much larger playing area. In a broader sense a cluster is also a locally present urban pattern that can be found in nearby villages. By shifting and interweaving a simple barn typology in N-S and E-W direction, a larger, structured volume of the kindergarten with varied gabled roofs is created, giving an impression of a smaller, compactly designed building. Its gabled roofs with N-S ridges follow the landscape image of the place.

The central space of the kindergarten is a two-story extension with a gallery and an open view towards the kindergarten kitchen and multipurpose space. This particular place, centered with a large communal table and a “bread oven” represents the heart of the new kindergarten.

Location: Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia

Project date: 2020

Site area: 7.613,00 m2

Building area: 1.335,50 m2

Total floor area: 2.200,70 m2

Type: educational

Client: Bohinj Municipality

Authors: Jure Hrovat, mia; Ana Kreč, mia (SVET VMES, Ltd.); Landscape architecture: Katja Mali, mika; Darja Matjašec, udika; Pia Kante, mika; Nejc Florjanc, mika (TEKTONIKA, Ltd.)

Collaborators: Marko Kavčič, abs. arh., Jakub Chojna, mia