A nursery in Prague has been treated to a cutting-edge design revamp that reinvents indoor spaces as an adventure playground.
Nursery chain Malvina commissioned the Czech architectural practice No Architects to redesign one of their rented spaces in the city.
Using plywood and bright colours, designers created a single spacious open-plan main room for playing, drawing, and eating, littered with cosy hiding places for children,. In addition to this central room, the nursery has a dormitory and changing room.
Architects Jakub Filip Novák and Daniela Baráčková, who has a teaching degree, say that they put child development at the centre of their design.
“We know that there are no one and two-year-olds who want to leave their parents,” Novák told The Calvert Journal. “So we thought about how to help children to get over that in a positive, constructive way. [We also wanted our design] to help teachers to stay calm and focused, because babies will sense negative emotions,” he added.
Their solution was to turn the nursery into an adventure playground. An inner window by the locker room allows children to wave goodbye at their parents one last time, while stairs by the entrance are there to help teachers, parents, and grandparents get small children dressed without forcing them to bend down. Finally, the open kitchen allows children to see how food is made, and teachers to supervise the toddlers while they’re preparing the snacks.
According to the nursery director, Alžběta Daniela Frimlová, the project has been popular with everyone, from toddlers to teachers and parents. Teachers “appreciate the high seats in the kitchen unit, and the fact that they can see everything from the kitchen to the bathroom,” while the toddlers “love the most the spaces where they can hide”. For Frimlová, the natural colour spectrum, which she says is appreciated by both adults and children, was key: “I asked the architects to build the nursery with the maximum focus on nature and recycled materials.”