In the realm of early childhood development, the foundational years play a pivotal role in shaping a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social capacities. Blocher Partners India, in a groundbreaking collaboration with a visionary client, embarked on a transformative journey to create a kindergarten deeply rooted in the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach.
Undeterred by bureaucratic challenges, the architects envisioned a space that transcends conventional norms. The heart of the kindergarten, a lively courtyard surrounded by nine purposeful structures, seamlessly blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors, creating an immersive learning environment. Even bureaucratic bylaws couldn’t stifle the innovative design, with a concealed basement ensuring a harmonious blend with the natural world.
From the moment children step onto the premises, the immersive experience begins. An expansive play area at the entrance, inspired by the idea that play is the precursor to learning, sets the stage for a seamless connection with nature. Creepers cascading from above, trees emerging from below, and water features contribute to a sensory-rich atmosphere, engaging young learners in the soothing sounds and textures of the environment.
The architectural simplicity of lime-plastered facades and sleek Swiss steel windows conceals the complexity within. Carefully curated interiors, featuring a pastel palette inspired by chromotherapy, house themed classrooms that ignite curiosity and exploration. Safety and comfort are paramount, with meticulous attention to detail in designing spaces that cater to both children and educators.
North-facing skylights, reminiscent of chimneys reaching toward the sky, symbolize the boundless potential of young minds. Graphics by Kalakaari Haath, inspired by classroom themes, create an immersive visual experience. The choice of sustainable materials, including AAC blocks and locally sourced resources, reflects a commitment to an environmentally friendly atmosphere.
More than an architectural marvel, the kindergarten stands as a testament to holistic experiences for its young inhabitants. North-facing skylights flood the space with natural light, fostering a sense of limitless possibility. The transparency of the design, offering unobstructed views of nature, establishes a profound connection with the environment.
In essence, Toy Blocks by Blocher Partners India is more than a physical space; it is a sanctuary for the growth and development of young minds. A Reggio Emilia-inspired wonderland where children embark on a journey of discovery, curiosity, and boundless imagination. It’s a place where every element of design and planning contributes to a rich and transformative user experience, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning and exploration.
Name of Project : Toy Blocks
Location : Ahmedabad
Principal Architect : Hartmut Wurster
Design Team : Hartmut Wurster, Celia Duque, Felix Lupatsch, Bhavin Mistry, Raghav Kumar, Rucha Phadke, Vishal Joshi, Usha Thakvani, Yogesh Raghvani, Parthi Shah, Anushika
Site Area (sq ft & sq m) : 5767 sqm
Built-Up Area : 1730 sqm
Start Date : Sept 2017
Completion Date : June 2021
Photographer : Atik Bheda & Umang Shah