Minimize, Maximize or Balance: Designing for Net Zero on an Urban Site (WED, 6/14)

Montessori Kinderhaus

The Montessori Kinderhaus in Erding is a daycare center of the local Montessori association. They believe that children should have ample space to play, even in a dense, urban environment, which is why they worked with the design team to create an easily accessible green roof on which the children can play. To allow for a gently rising roof, the building is sunk by half a floor into the ground. This creates a protected courtyard on the south side, which also forms the building’s primary entrance.

Hanging over the courtyard is a balcony that forms an extension of the group rooms. It serves as a protected, additional playing surface and as a transition from inside to outside. The cantilever also ensures optimal structural shading in summer.

From the top floor you step directly onto the green roof, from the upper floor via a bridge and stairs to the south-facing garden and from the ground floor you reach the inner courtyard. Inside, the corridors form flowing spatial areas that are also used as play areas. The visual references inside the building across the floors and between the rooms create spaciousness and surprising perspectives. Skylights support this and also allow daylight to illuminate inside. The visual references to the outside expand the view and connect the building with the outdoor facilities. From all areas you can also go directly outdoors.

In addition to these features to make the structure more accommodating to children, the building was constructed with a highly thermally insulated envelope and insulated window frames with triple glazing, the building is tempered with comfort ventilation. The room heat is operated with a heat pump based on geothermal district heating. The heating surfaces are laid in the floor and can be “reversed” for cooling in summer.

The architectural language works with oblique structures in the floor plan and elevation, thereby creating areas that open and areas that are protected. The fact that it is used inside the building as well as in the facades of the building structure and outdoor facilities creates a great degree of design unity. The connection between inside and outside - ArchitekturNatur has been implemented here.

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