Made to measure
Neu-Schöneberg – that’s the name of the city district currently being developed close to the Gleisdreieckpark in Berlin. Covering no less than 50,000 square meters, the area will comprise new housing, something so urgently needed in Germany’s capital city. The proximity to nature and the good connections to the Mitte and Charlottenburg districts are appealing to families in particular. To round out the range of services, the architects Jason Danziger from thinkbuild architecture and Erhard An-He Kinzelbach from Knowspace have created the “Kita am Gleis” childcare facility. The two-story, L-shaped building appears compact and is lower in height than the nearby apartment blocks, but with its façade’s matching color scheme in light and dark grey, the nursery blends harmoniously with the overall image of the new district. The subtle difference comes from the understated wall painting by illustrator Chrisse Kunst, which runs in fine, white lines across the façade at ground level and invites children to continue the lines using chalk.
The nursery’s philosophy is akin to that of “open-plan working”, with the aim being to support children in developing their abilities at their own initiative and through social interaction. Underlying this is space for movement, which is also apparent in the interior design: Bespoke fitted wooden units provide storage space while also leaving plenty of room for playing and romping around. At the same time, hideouts have also been incorporated into the wooden units and are just waiting to be discovered. A playful experience of space and the development of orientation are also assisted by the views inside and out: as with the walk-on glass floor elements on the second floor, for example, or the windows into the three sanitary and baby-changing areas. Plenty of thought has gone into these too – the window at the baby-changing station allows nursery nurses to keep sight of the group. Such features also allow plenty of daylight into the rooms.
For the bathroom elements, bathroom specialist Bette was brought on board: The “BetteDelta” shower trays were easily repurposed as deep wash basins and were installed right next to the baby-changing stations. Individual bespoke creations are a matter of course for the bathroom specialist from Delbrück. At the Kita am Gleis, Bette created a hole for a swiveling faucet at the edge of the basins. Even the coloring of the glazed titanium steel is special and fits perfectly with the blue NCS color tone family R90B, from which the nursery’s wall colors were selected. “Washing, baby-changing and everything relating to the topic of water needed to be viewed in a playful way here,” explains Jason Danziger. It was a task the architects took up and solved with ease thanks to the bespoke bathroom fittings.