The Nursery in the Park is a sensitively-designed and placed building in the heart of an old park in the city of Zaragoza, Spain. Santiago Carroquino Arquitectos focused on creating a preschool with lasting character that expresses playfulness yet minimally disrupts the surrounding natural environment. From the façade to the green roof to the preservation of indigenous trees, the kindergarten blends the boundaries between nature and building while providing a safe, light-filled, and airy place for children to play and learn.
The building’s beautiful façade is composed of a series of prefabricated translucent polycarbonate colored plates. The wall system fills the interior with diffused light and softens the exterior with a natural-toned verticality reminiscent of the surrounding trees. The panels were built off-site to expedite construction.
An extensive green roof system provides multiple benefits by maintaining the parks biodiversity, insulating the building, and acting as an acoustic buffer to the city. The roof also has embedded solar thermal panels to help supplement heating.
Multiple courtyards and open passages blend the interior and exterior spaces, providing a nurturing environment for the children to explore. The interior has a highly adaptable wall system that can convert rooms from single to multiple uses. The walls feature a hardened glass wainscot that keeps the rooms hygienic and easy-to-clean, thus reducing cleaning chemicals. Novel round windows have hatches which control light and sound as while directing light into the rooms.
The Architects explain that the project “shows all in a deep respect for the environment, as one of the teaching values to the children as new members of our society.” A powerful statement on the influence of sustainable building in society.