Introducing young children to a school environment can be a challenge, but one kindergarten in Germany has no trouble getting their students excited for the day. This cat-shaped kindergarten in Karlsruhe, Germany, offers a whimsical playground for the kids, inside and out. The children who attend Kindergarten Die Katzie (literally “The Cat”) no doubt are thrilled to play and learn in a building shaped like one of their favorite pets. The metal sculpture-cum-building is a joint effort between French artist Tomi Ungerer and architect d’Ayla-Suzan Yöndel, the result of the campaign “Europe Without Borders,” intending to be a symbol of the friendship between the German and French people.
Approaching the building is like walking straight up to a giant feline, paws astride in a Sphinx-like pose, with big round eyes gazing out over the entryway. About a hundred lucky kids attend this school, and each has to pass through the cat’s mouth, almost as if being eaten, to enter the building, but we suspect they aren’t afraid, once they know what awaits inside.
In the belly of the beast, a relatively open floor plan houses a coatroom, classrooms, dining room and kitchen. The inside of the ‘paws’ are play areas for the tots, and the second floor allows kids to peer out of the giant eye-shaped windows. The play on a cat’s anatomy doesn’t end with the interior spaces, though, as the kindergarten also has a green roof, giving the illusion of “fur.”
Perhaps the most exhilarating part of the building’s design can’t even be seen from the street. Behind the cat kindergarten is what you expect to find behind just about any cat: a tail! In this case, the kitty’s tail is a two-story metal slide that protrudes from the upstairs play area and offers a really spectacular exit to a truly unique building.
via Milk Magazine
Images © Adriono A. Biondo