Architecture for Children by Sarah Scott

By Sarah Scott

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Part of this thinking is the current emphasis on integrating children’s facilities with family services and outreach facilities. Feeny (2006) explains that: Evidence from around the world suggests that strengthening the family as an essential unit of society and promoting the regeneration of communities are the most effective ways to ensure children develop into healthy and responsible adults. (p. 2) There is widespread consensus with regard to child and family wellbeing (see ARACY 2009), that prevention is much more effective than cure or, more precisely, prevention is more effective than interventions made later on when the problems and issues are more entrenched and complex.

The entrance is a celebrated junction. It can be full of enticement through subtle transition—such as the long garden wall of Lanterns—or surprising, like the sudden revelation of the inner oval through the low keyhole entry at the Fuji Centre. At the Cowgate Centre, the juxtaposition of wide, hidden terraces and the narrow close that leads to it adds interest. Contrast of the unusual can draw attention to a centre, while the built form, its scale and materials still conform to the local precinct’s character.

So perhaps the ideal is an ever-present sense of not just our immediate surroundings but also the larger context around us, of the universe above continually contrasted against our small cave below. Circulation void at Kindergarten Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse, Heilbronn, Germany 37 ARCHITECTURE FOR CHILDREN 1 SPACE 1 Maibara Cho, Preschool, Shiga, Japan 2 Fawood Children’s Centre, London, UK 3 Giulia Maramotti Infant–Toddler Centre, Reggio Emilia, Italy, photograph courtesy Lapis Architetture Studio Associato, Reggio Emilia 4 Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, Reggio Emilia, Italy, photograph courtesy Tullio Zini Architect Studio and ZPZ PARTNERS, Modena 5 Hosmarinpuisto School & Daycare, Espoo, Finland 6 The Children’s School, New Canaan, NY, USA 7 Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, Reggio Emilia, Italy, photograph courtesy Tullio Zini Architect Studio and ZPZ PARTNERS, Modena 38 2 THE CHILDREN’S CENTRE ENVIRONMENT 3 5 4 7 6 39 ARCHITECTURE FOR CHILDREN Transparency and nature 1 Tom Tits Experiment Daycare Centre, Södertälje, Sweden Spatial extension, views out and beyond, and a visual sense of the collective, create a sense of inclusiveness rather than enclosure.

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