Location: Trondheim, Norway
Collab: NTNU
Sustainability has become a key driver of architecture today. Kindergartens are among the many typologies being optimized for lower energy use, which can result in a struggle between competing design objectives. As building codes become stricter and architecture more mechanized, focus has shifted away from the user and towards a low-energy goal.

This raises an important question: how can kindergarten architecture fit into this new paradigm? To date, investigations into climate adaptation of buildings and architecture for children have largely been con ducted separately. The necessity of lowering environmental impact cannot be overstated, but the needs of children cannot be neglected in the process; a building that does not fulfil one of its core functions can hardly be called sustainable, no matter how low its energy demand. Can child-oriented architecture be compatible with a highly energy-efficient environment? What does it mean to make a sustainable kindergarten?

When the functional and architectural archetypes for kindergartens were created, sustainable strategies were not applied in the same fashion they are today. Sustainability strategies and technology keep developing at a fast pace, while architectural solutions for kindergartens have remained relatively constant.

In order to combine child-oriented strategies with sustainability, it is necessary to go backwards and deconstruct both the [below] interior perspective core functions and the sustainable strategies. To answer the needs of both children and the environment, this paper de constructs the kindergarten into its most basic components.

By separating the building into its functions, assumptions are questioned and priorities reexamined. The architectural, sociological, and psychological research into early childhood learning are investigated alongside contemporary research into climate-adapted buildings. Building simplification is put in focus.

This addresses the crux of the issue: the connection between architecture and user. In a building intended for children, can children understand the building?