If getting kids to love learning starts early, then those who attend Tellus Nursery School are definitely ahead of the game thanks to this fetching and colorful building in Stockholm. Designed by Tham & Videgård Arkiteker, the school sits between a former industrial development on one side and a small forest and new housing complex on the other, acting as a mediator between the two. The designers chose locally-sourced building materials and incorporated passive elements into the design. This project meets Sweden's highest specifications for sustainable building while still being a fun and welcoming space for children.
Parents and children are enveloped in a semi-enclosed courtyard when they first enter the school building, which is wrapped in a tall pine facade that is painted a bright canary yellow. Cut in 50 x 50mm slats, the sawn timber was sustainably sourced from Swedish forests as per a longstanding tradition. This facade, however, is more than just a sunny face for the school. It also controls solar gain to reduce the overall mechanical load.
Further ensuring maximum energy efficiency, checkered windows placed at different levels so that both small children and grownups can gaze outside permit the perfect amount of daylight in, giving the interior a lovely soft glow. School designs have followed an interesting trajectory from small country homes to ugly concrete blocks and back to something more exciting, like Tellus, which actually inspires learning rather than escape!