Manlleu: ‘Els Colors’ Nursery (Spain)

‘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.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 01_Stephen Varady photo ©

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.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 03_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 04_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 05_Stephen Varady photo ©

 

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 06_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 07_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 08_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 09_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 10_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 11_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 12_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 13_Stephen Varady photo ©

Like all rcr projects, the building is carefully composed and simply but cleverly detailed, like the exterior handrail.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 14_Stephen Varady photo ©

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.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 15_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 19_Stephen Varady photo ©

The entry canopy has a wonderful burst of orange that the sun shines through.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 20_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 22_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 24_Stephen Varady photo ©

I was very fortunate to have the very proud manager take me on a tour of the building.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 25_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 26_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 27_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 28_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 29_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 30_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 31_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 32_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 33_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 34_Stephen Varady photo ©

The beautiful colour-coding is achieved through carefully considered translucent glazing.

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 35_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 36_Stephen Varady photo ©

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 37_Stephen Varady photo ©

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.’

'Els Colors' Nursery, Manlleu, Spain by RCR Arquitectes 38_Stephen Varady photo ©

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

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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