‘Els Colors’ Nursery
Carrer del Ter, 54, 08560 Manlleu, Barcelona, Spain
RCR Arquitectes (2003-04)
This is a delightful project tucked away in a small town an hour north of Barcelona – well worth the drive, especially if you track down the other rcr projects scattered around the area.
Located beside an ancient walled cemetery the ‘Els Colors’ Nursery sits like a stack of lollies or translucent building blocks, its composition of coloured elements scaled for the children who will come and stay at the nursery.
Like all rcr projects, the building is carefully composed and simply but cleverly detailed, like the exterior handrail.
The colour-coded children’s classrooms and play spaces are all on one level with the staff offices lifted to the first floor of the grey block on the corner of the site.
The entry canopy has a wonderful burst of orange that the sun shines through.
I was very fortunate to have the very proud manager take me on a tour of the building.
The beautiful colour-coding is achieved through carefully considered translucent glazing.
The architects explain, ‘In a construction game, the form is threaded together on the basis of the juxtaposition and overlap of simple pieces. The ease of composition derives from the uniform size of these pieces, and the final identification of each one, which now form a single unit, is derived from colour. A child’s perception of s[pace is different; their point of view is much lower than an adult’s, and their standing head perceives different perspectives that extend the relative dimension. Facilitating orientation and location for children under the age of three is a spatial learning task that is important in their process of gaining independence and confidence. the open, fluid nature of the materialisation of the boundaries contributes to their experience of relations instead of self-absorption.’
Place: ‘Els Colors’ Nursery
Architect: RCR Arquitectes
Photographer: Stephen Varady
Publications: Arch Daily (12 Dec 2016) and El Croquis #138 (2007)
Map: ‘Els Colors’ Nursery
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