We really love educational architecture that creates a dynamic learning environment, and this bodacious Dandelion Clock kindergarten in Germany is an excellent example of just that. The brainchild of Ecker Architekten, the modular school design establishes a unique identity for mentally and physically handicapped children without sacrificing a sense of color and play. Plus, it's a daylit haven that permits outdoor play any time of the year.
The four modules are arranged around a central atrium. This daylit space and naturally-ventilated space has multiple functions: It is an indoor playing field, a dining hall and it regulates traffic between the other parts of the school. All but one of the modules are comprised of two classrooms and a therapy room. Repetitive framing allowed for prefabricated construction, and the school was built in just eight months.
Towering, illuminated roof monitors in the central atrium are the building’s most distinguishing feature. But they’re more than that. They also contain vents and windows that draw air throughout the entire building, providing natural cooling and preventing excess energy consumption. Overhangs shade the exterior facade and allow the children to play outdoors even during inclement weather, and much of the interior and exterior is finished with sustainably-sourced wood. It just goes to show that a few thoughtful moves can transform even the simplest design into something fresh and inspiring. We love it.