The new kindergarten of Sluderno is part of a group of public buildings located on the border of the historic village. This 'public district' provides a hard edge to the south towards the road, the railway rail and the valley, while to the north opens itself to the village and the mountains, enjoying a charming landscape. The proposal takes advantage of this double condition.
The project can be schematically represented as a system of progressive filters, with the center of maximum protection represented by the kindergarten garden. While on one side the volume of the practice room for the local community band strengthens the barrier towards the valley, with a blank wall facing the street, on the other side the new kindergarten organises the outdoor space separating in a clear but not brutal way the garden dedicated to children from the elementary school yard and the public space. The circular volume stresses the transition from a hard and more public floor, to a softer one, pertaining to the children.
This system works both on urban and architectural scale. The volume of the kindergarten is divided into two parts: the norther one is a compact structure, in black concrete, punctuated by large openings that frame the mountains, while the southern one is covered by a lightweight structure - pillars thin as trees.
The southern facade, completely open to the outside, is formed by rotating wooden elements that screen from the sun. The classrooms and rest rooms are divided by rotating wooden panels, which can provide generous spaces and occasional views from section to section.
The design solves adequately the acoustic and energetic issues (target: Casaclima Class A), considering all the pre-existing conditions: buildings (elementary school and multi-purpose hall), plants (district heating) and infrastructures (road adjacency that causes pollution and noise).
The clear separation of functions allows a rationalisation of the plants network during construction (low cost investment) and operation (business management) phases: the kindergarten and the practice room are located in two separate buildings; in the kindergarten the functional areas are well identifiable.
The practice room building serves as a sound barrier towards the road: in this way the project area becomes an acoustically and visually comfortable space in which to place the spaces linked to the kindergarten. The buildings are very compact and elementary volumes: this allows simplicity of details (resolution of thermal bridges) and the containment of energy waste. The relationship between opaque and transparent surfaces is well balanced in relation to function, a correct energy consumption, natural light control and views towards the outside. The building is designed to reach high levels of thermal insulation (U <0.15 W/m2K for the opaque and U <0.8 W/m2K for transparent walls).
The decisive element for the kindergarten energy response is the presence of vertical wooden elements outside of the glass facade, that can be rotated around a vertical axis to modulate the amount of solar radiation.
The same technical and formal element is taken into the practice room to adequately control the acoustic of the room: the inclination and the surface treatment of the elements (on one side wood and on the other FIBERFORM and fabric) can optimise the reflection and absorption of sound waves to create a perfect acoustic space.
Once established the use of district heating for the supply of thermal energy, the plant can be described as a radiant system coupled to mechanical ventilation: this is expected to regulate the distribution to allow a separate management of the various functional areas.
Mechanical ventilation is done with high efficiency heat recovery (> 80%), with low power consumption ventilators. The project provides low speed of distribution and release to ensure thermal and acoustical comfort, and low fuel consumption; it also provides pre-heated (and pre-cooled depending on season) incoming air thanks to an exchanger that distributes from the practice room building basement to the kindergarten basement, where the technical rooms are located. The vertical distribution runs through the services block, while the horizontal in the thickness of the concrete slabs.
In spring, autumn and summer the building works with natural ventilation and/or mechanical ventilation through the geothermal heat exchanger according to user preferences.
The presence of a big flat roof allows to integrate the plant with solar and photovoltaic panels, depending on the possibility of investment of the municipality.