location: Russia, St.Petersburg
authors: Kseniia Bimbashi
The kindergarten "The little pearl" is located on the ground floor in the built-in spaces of an apartment complex. The interior, accomplished in the marine theme had two typical Saint-Petersburg challenges - the lack of space and the lack of light.
The lack of space problem was solved by using transformer-beds for the day naps (according to Russian codes kindergarten has to provide certain size children beds for a day nap). The lack of light was addressed by locating playrooms along the windows front and moving administrative and technical areas towards the core of the building. This way the insolation (exposure to the sun's rays) of the main spaces was brought to 2.5 continuous hours per day or over 50% of the time kids spend in the daycare. This was a code requirement that the project had to meet in order to accommodate kindergarten at this site.
The stakeholders (teachers and principals) meeting helped to dial in safety and vandalism resistance requirements (interior damages done by the kids was a hot topic) and optimize the workflow.
My work included the measurements, initial plans, concept, design, electric plans, tiling design, materials, material purchasing, visualizations, elements décor, and everything else minus brick and mortar work ;-) What I would consider a personal achievement here is the ability to bring all our ideas to life while “designing to cost” and using cheap materials in smart and creative ways.
My effort was ultimately rewarded with glowing reviews of teachers and parents and, most importantly, the happy faces of kids who really like the place.