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Arc en Ciel

Arc en Ciel in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

One more

How a small school in densely populated Brussels creates space for itself – especially on the roof.

Label Architecture expanded “Arc en Ciel” with four classrooms and new outdoor areas. The roof areas played a special role in this.

Located in the midst of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode – the neighborhood with the highest population density in Belgium – the already crowded school and daycare centre “Arc en Ciel” wanted to increase its capacity with extra classrooms along with new outdoor spaces.

The internal organisation allows  to gather an ensemble of smaller functions and to turn them into two big classrooms on each floor. Furthermore, the duplication of the existing facade creates a new circulation, avoids an enfilade of classes and provides extra storage space for the pupils.

The existing gap between the buildings was closed by adding a storey with new classrooms.

Moreover, the new facade drastically improves the overall thermal performance of the building.

These same tactics are applied to provide more outdoor space for the school. By inserting a concrete structure, the ground surface of the playground is doubled.

This “table” covers a collection of playground equipment on the ground floor, while its roof is used as an enclosed sports field.

Arc en Ciel now has some exceptional qualities to offer. Above all, the two large outdoor areas are a clear response to a dense environment.

On the corner, the cavity between the two buildings is filled with the addition of 4 new classrooms. The existing staircase is extended to giving access to the new level and its roofsurface.

Here, accompagnied by an impressive view on Brussels, the daycare centre finds its new outdoor space and presents itself to the neighborhood.

We did this.

Project data

Architects

Label Architecture
Rue de Flandre 121
BEL – 1000 Brussels

Client

Municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

Construction

JZH & Partners

Address

Arc en Ciel
Rue de l’Abondance 17
BEL – 1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

Opening

2019

Photograph

Stijn Bollaert

Author

Label Architecture

Video

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Play containers

Diversity through standard

Play containers on the rise

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KuKuk

About

Containers are standardised. Play containers have many advantages because of this.

Due to their standardised form, containers can be shipped to any place in the world for little money. Due to their stable frame construction and their flexibility, they can also be used very well as a framework and outer shell for a variety of play and leisure facilities.

Play containers like the KuKuk Box can be used both temporarily and permanently – and they are becoming more and more common.

Temporary use

When cities and municipalities build or renovate (for example schools or kindergartens), they often need temporary facilities.  These are usually located on derelict sites without child-friendly infrastructure. A play container can quickly provide a solution.

Just as well, the KuKuk Box can be dismantled and reassembled at a new location without much effort in case of a move or an upcoming change of use of a site.

These play containers are even used for events or for shorter periods of time.

KuKuk Box play containers do not require a building permit and can also be rented on a temporary basis.

Permanent use

The KuKuk Box can also be used as a permanent, attractive public play structure. This is particularly useful if a versatile play facility is to be created in a short time and for little money.

Play containers can be placed on all planned surfaces, including roofs and car parks. They are extremely low-maintenance. Time-consuming and costly expenses for planning, applications, excavations and foundations are completely eliminated.

Not bad either: the KuKuk Box can be set up in about two hours.

Equipment

The play containers offer exciting areas for all age groups: There are climbing structures up to the roof, roof houses, crawling tunnels, balancing courses, slides, play houses, seating platforms, sandboxes, reading corners and much more. There is also seating for parents and nursery school teachers.

The KuKuk Box lives through its users. It is equipped with materials such as round, square and sawn timber, fasteners, ropes and paints that allow it to be expanded as desired. This means that schools, kindergartens and social institutions are free to design the play container themselves.

The fully-fledged playground encourages a lot of movement and also offers retreat areas that allow intensive play – no matter what the weather.

Design

ISO 668 applies to sea freight containers, which have a frame structure that can be used very well as a support element for the construction of foundation-free playgrounds. No excavated earth or concrete foundations cast for eternity are needed for construction. This saves money and time. It is also sustainable, of course.

The containers are made of resistant COR-TEN steel. The walls are made of trapezoidal sheet steel, the floors are made of plywood.

The finish is high-quality and robust. The hardest woods and weatherproof, rustproof stainless steel connections are used. For the fixtures, sapwood-free, weather-resistant robinia wood is used because of its natural robustness.

Equipment

The slides are made of durable, UV-resistant stainless steel (V2A).

The nets and ropes are custom-made from extremely strong Hercules rope (sheathed steel ropes). This is a craft still practised by only very few manufacturers in Germany. The material is characterised by high colour fastness and abrasion resistance.

Coloured Plexiglas gives the children an intensive colour experience. It looks very good, the material is weather and age resistant as well as enormously UV resistant.

Safety and sustainability

The KuKuk Box play containers are built according to the safety standard DIN EN 1176 and are individually approved by independent, certified experts (e.g. TüV) for public play areas.

When the play containers are no longer to be used, the manufacturer will take them back and create something new from the materials. Some call it a manufacturer take-back guarantee, others call it sustainability.

Many cities, municipalities and communities that started with the purchase of a KuKuk Box are now owners of several play containers. Such a ” store ” also makes the planning of reconstructions or refurbishments much easier.

About KuKuk

The KuKuk Box was developed by an experienced team of artists, architects, carpenters, metalworkers and educators.

The aim and result of this development were and are inexpensive and sustainable play facilities of ecological value, which at the same time meet the highest functional and aesthetic demands. Of course, they should also be fun.

This has worked out well. Very well, in fact.

We did this.

Project data

Play containers

KuKuk Box GmbH
Rosenwiesstraße 17
D – 70567 Stuttgart

Photograph

KuKuk Box GmbH

Author

Johannes Bühlbecker
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Contact

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Phone
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+49 172 4736 332

Coniplay

Pretty safe

Surfaces in water landscapes

Coniplay

About

Safety plays a major role in the design of the surfacing around water surfaces in both outdoor and indoor areas. It must be designed so that bathers always have a safe footing.

Slips and falls must be avoided at all costs as even a small, careless movement can lead to a fall with serious consequences, especially since bathers, whether children, adults or senior citizens only wear swimwear and are therefore also unprotected by any clothing if they fall. Floors bordering on water surfaces are therefore primarily designed for safety reasons.

Conica offers a safe solution for floorings adjacent to water surfaces.

Jointless

The surface system Coniplay was developed by the Swiss company Conica AG. Its safe standing ensures that bathing fun in adventure and leisure pools, spas and private swimming pools is not spoilt by accidents.

The product is available in two versions: as the water-permeable version Coniplay AP and as the water-impermeable Coniplay AI. Both solutions are colourful, comfortable and offer a long service life. They can easily be installed without joints using different binding agents.

Bacterial inhibiting

CONIPLAY AP is a water-permeable surface that can be constructed in one or two layers. CONIPLAY AI has a multi-layer structure and is waterproof.

The black granulate layer is optional for both variants, it serves to achieve any desired fall protection. This is what makes them recommendable.

Sealing

The sealant is also the same for both: CONIPUR 2210, as an anti-slip, silk-gloss 2-component PUR sealant. Alternatively, CONIPUR 2210 AB can also be used. This sealant is additionally equipped with a bacteria-inhibiting additive.

CONIPLAY AP and CONIPLAY AI are resistant to both chlorine and salt water.

Conclusion

Today’s bathing landscapes are subject to tough competition. Safety and attractiveness must no longer be competitors, they have to be partners.

The Coniplay solution combines the necessary, the fall protection, with the aesthetic. The material used allows a colourful design, so that bathing fun can be experienced in full all around the water with maximum safety.

We did this.

Project data

Surfaces

Conica AG
Industriestraße 26
CH – 8207 Schaffhausen

Author

Uwe Schmidt
Industrie-Contact AG
Bahrenfelder Marktplatz 7
D – 22761 Hamburg

Photograph

Conica AG

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Colegio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes

Let there be light

Colegio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes 

Picado De Blas Arquitectos

Situation

This project has been carried out thanks to the Torrelodones municipality initiative which seeks to improve the current conditions of the most degraded public schools in the area by introducing a small architectural intervention network of new constructions.

This gives the opportunity to introduce ecological concepts in schools with very low cost.

Let the sunshine in

In this case, a small pavilion was required for a sports activity next to the existing school.

Breaking up with the traditional concept of this type of spaces, which are usually very closed to the outside, a large window opened to east appears, offering a view of the sky.

Design

The project approach is to set up the pavilion as a removable architectural piece, quickly erected, sustainable and innovative. We thought at this point in removable refrigeration panel self-supporting structure, a typical material used in the industry, which is lightness and has a high energy efficiency that facilitates its quick assembly and keeps safely the possibility of reuse in the future.

These panels have a 10 cm thickness, weighing the whole building less than a quarter of what would weight a traditional construction.

Realisation

We understand as innovative this proposal, not only for the introduction of industrial panel systems, but also because of the acoustic absorption achieved in the interior space. The impact absorption on the ground was ensured by superimposing several special absorbent sheets under the pavement, while echoes and reverberations on the walls were counteracted by a 3D textile material specially designed for this project.

The wood used as the final floor finishing is an industrial oak recycled wood, which is made with the remains of other woods. This material will provide warmth and facilitates the indoor sports performance.

We did this.

Project data

Architect

PICADO-DE BLAS ARQUITECTOS
Calle González Amigó nº23
E – 28033 Madrid

Client

Community of Torrelodones

Team

Rubén Picado Fernández, María José de Blas
Carlos Diaz-Monis, Jorge Li, Teresa Casbas, Sofía Fernández, Will Tooze

Address

Calle Ntra. Sra. del Carmen, 10
28250 Torrelodones
E – Madrid

Opening

2019

Photos

Alberto Amores
Estudio Picado-de Blas

Author

PICADO-DE BLAS ARQUITECTOS

Photos

Plans

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Colourful play floors

Simply magical

Colourful play floors

Melos

About

Children want adventures. And that is why they love to create their own imaginary worlds, in which they can be or do anything: become an astronaut or a racing drivers, set off on a big safari across Africa, or ride atop a unicorn.

Colourful play floors inspire the imagination even more. Also, they are soft, easy on the joints, and slip-resistant – particularly important properties for astronauts and racing drivers, no matter how old they are.

These play floors are supplied by Melos.

Floor images

Colourful play floors are a good alternative to other attractions such as floor images made of granules. They are both ideally suited for use in play areas, in kindergartens, or on school playgrounds.

Floor images are individual floor designs for nearly any type of public space, among them playgrounds, sports fields, and sports halls. Melos have specially developed the Stylemaker® app showing the many different motifs and designs that are available for the theme worlds mentioned.

Play floors

Play floors are full-surface floor coverings that can be very well combined with the chosen floor images. They are made of EPDM, the standard product used worldwide for a variety of different outdoor floors.

Play floors are made of coloured granules that must be able to withstand demanding conditions. Regular inspections ensure a high-performance product of consistently high quality.

Amazing Africa and Fairy Flowers

The new colourful blend “Amazing Africa” has been developed using a special colour that is exclusive to this blend. It has been specially designed to match the safari motifs from the Stylemaker® range. The unique colour mix consists of 100% virgin material and is supplied as a pre-mixed coloured material blend.

This is also the case for “Fairy Flowers”, another new and colourful blend with a special colour that is unique to Melos. “Fairy Flowers” has been specially adapted to the Stylemaker® motifs and is made to inspire little magicians and fairies.

Both blends create enchanting environments on safety surfaces, and both allow children to let their imagination run wild. Simply magical!

We did this.

Photos

Melos

Play floors

Melos GmbH
Bismarckstrasse 4-10
D-49324 Melle

Author

Johannes Bühlbecker
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KO Kindergarten

Architecture as a toy

KO Kindergarten in Matsuyama

HIBINOSEKKEI

Move it!

The KO Kindergarten wants to give children as many opportunities for movement and development as possible. Through architecture.

Movement is becoming less and less a matter of course. Children are brought to the kindergarten by car. Thus they miss the first chance of the day to let off steam and gain experience. At home, they sit in front of the television or on their mobile phone or tablet. Not always, but more and more often. Playing outside in the fresh air has become less, the awareness for nature and one’s own body decreases.

This is the course of the world. There still is architecture. It can create incentives and an environment in which (not only) the children want to be active – as with the reconstruction of the KO kindergarten in the Japanese city of Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture).

Niches

In the KO Kindergarten there is a distinct centre, and that is a large, multi-storey play area. All rooms for groups, employees, etc. were organized at the edge of the rectangular building.

The great special feature of the KO Kindergarten, however, are the 14 different niches and remaining areas between the rooms and levels, from which the architects of Hibinosekkei have created game spaces and free areas for the 450 children.

Everything is somehow shifted horizontally and vertically, around every corner there are new “streets”, landscapes and challenges – unique play areas. The building is the toy. The many installations from KDS (Kids Design Labo) make a decisive contribution to this.

Pedagogics

The theory behind it comes from Kazuhiko Nakamura, a professor of pedagogics at the University of Yamanashi. Kazuhiko Nakamura says that in our childhood we should learn 36 different body movements such as “running”, “jumping”, “climbing” or “holding”. All these 36 movements can be practiced in the 14 playrooms of the KO Kindergarten.

First experiences and studies show that the three- to five-year-old children move 20 percent more in this new kindergarten than in the old building. In addition, skills such as “throwing”, “driving through” and “crawling” can only be “trained” in the new atmosphere.

Architecture that inspires courage

There have also been some changes in the outdoor area. The new playground offers two small hills with natural grass. The children love to romp around and climb up there. In addition, beetles and flowers can be seen and contact with nature is a matter of course.

The KO Kindergarten creates a lot of new play areas. The children accept all challenges enthusiastically. Not only do they improve their physical abilities, they also constantly develop new games and new interests. Architecture that inspires courage and encourages children to play and move as a matter of course.

We did this.

Project data and companies involved

Superstructures

Opening

2019

Architects

HIBINOSEKKEI, Inc
2343 Iiyama, Atsugi
JP – Kanagawa

Youji no Shiro

Photos

Ryuji Inoue

Text

Johannes Bühlbecker
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At “More Sports. More Architecture.” you will find functional, spectacular and simply beautiful buildings and facilities for sports and leisure.

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