Kistefossdammen in Asker is Norway’s first energy-plus nursery. It consists of 1360 m² with room for 100 children: two nursery groups, two flexible groups and two preschool groups. Six different activity rooms provide space for physical and creative expression.
The building site is characterized by the beautiful stream Kistefossdam, which runs through the area, and by smaller residential buildings. In order to meet the scale and topography, the nursery building is broken down into smaller units but organized as one continuous internal village with spacious ‘town plazas’, streets and smaller niches, giving a rich variation of spaces to stimulate the children´s curiosity and natural drive for adventure.
Furthermore, the nursery building is part of the ambitious FutureBuilt programme, under which the three largest municipalities in the Oslo area work together to create climate-neutral buildings of high architectural quality. In the architecture for this energy-plus project, we have incorporated passive and technical solutions that make the building produce more energy than it uses. On the roof - the key to the institution’s energy design - solar cells harvest the sun to ensure that the building produces a surplus of energy. In addition, large windows in the façade and the south-facing roof surfaces are geometrically optimised to create unusually good daylight conditions.
The building’s spatial qualities and architecture provide an insight into how energy, environment and biodiversity can all be balanced in a modern nursery. Hence, the building design of Kistefossdammen nursery shows the children - the future citizens of Norway - how human behavior is part of a large cycle, and how the environment and energy affects one another. In that sense this project is an example of how architecture and technology interact and how climate friendly architecture can be about much more than advanced technology.