Villa Aimilia, a preschool unit established in 1963, attained an existing educational 1970s building in Psychico, formerly dedicated to children ages 15-18 years old, and required a renovation to accommodate young children at the age of preschool, kindergarten, and later primary school.
The first phase opted to upgrade 7 classrooms, the common spaces of the ground floor, a cluster of new children’s restrooms and a complete renovation of the yard. Main concept was to articulate an architectural vocabulary that is aligned with the scale and the nature of young age and may advance gradually and accommodate growth, both mental and kinetic, and become the foundation for activity- based learning.
Due to regulatory requirements, the school yard had to accommodate a basketball court addressed to primary school students, and a playground opted for kindergarten. The design aimed to overcome the division of the space created by the distinct uses by children of different age and different skills and blend the two operations in a design that gradually addresses all age groups.
Reacting to the extreme height of the rooms and the openings, the space divides in two levels, introducing a lower scale that encapsulates the size of the children. Custom furnishings revise the experience of scale by creating structures of activities and discovery while manifesting ideas such as inclusion and/or extension aligned with the student’s age skills, by becoming the enhanced surrounding “walls” of the classrooms.
The color range of the interventions throughout the school is designed to create a spatial narrative sequence and moves towards desaturation from side to side and from top to bottom, instigating vibrant amusement and inspiration of the social space. As the school grows with the introduction of primary students, the use of color relates to the children physical, mental, and emotional development.