This project is the reconstruction of a socialist kindergarten from the 1980s in Budpaest, Hungary. The kindergarten is located close to the river Danube, surrounded by a ten-story block of flats from the socialist prefabricated housing program. The whole estate was built in the second half of the 1980s. Our site, the original building, was a two-story and eight-room kindergarten. It was a type of design that could be seen all over the country in similar socialist housing projects. It was built from prefabricated reinforced concrete elements and concrete panels, according popular technological trends of the time. While preserving the original establishment, this modernization and expansion has given the building a new and integral identity. The rooms were expanded towards the original courtyard, and a covered, wooden outdoor playground was added in the front. The building opens up under the new roof’s outline to compensate for the shut and rigid environment of the prefabricated panel blocks. Opening up the building is the key gesture of our conversion. The local council decided to modernize and expand the building but there was no need to increase the capacity. The reason for the extension was the lack of space in the restrooms, changing rooms and the absence of other secondary service areas. It was important for us to develop the final architectural and interior design program in collaboration with the kindergarten teachers and the pedagogy leader. The interiors were defined by the strict, restrained character of the existing building, which was softened by a wooden interior finish on openings, furniture, and accents. The most characteristic element is the wooden play-terrace that opens to the backyard, which increases the excitement of the space with a slide and outdoor games. Its exterior appearance, which is characterized by large openings, wooden windows, and a distinctly new color, in order to set the kindergarten apart from the surrounding ten-story tall, prefabricated gray buildings that dominate much of Hungary’s cityscapes. The re-design of the building breaks its rigid, block- like appearance and enriches the housing market with a new architectural character.
Lead Architects: Csaba Nagy, Károly Pólus, Ágnes Tőrös, Miklós Batta, Jakab Urbán, Nikoletta Zsidai Contributors: Bence Várhidi, Gábor Laczkó Structural engineer: Tibor Pintér Building Engineer: Zoltán Sor Electrical Engineer: István Karácsony Client: Budapest Capital 13th District Mayor’s Office Contractor: Prím Építő Kft. Photographer: Tamás Bujnovszky Photographer’s email: email@example.com Photographer’s website: https://www.bujnovszky.com/ Photographer’s instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tamas_bujnovszky/?hl=hu Awards: • EU Mies Awards 2022 – Shortlisted • BIGSEE Architecture Awards 2022 – Winner, Public and Commercial Category • Budapest Architecture Award for Excellence 2020 – Winner • Piranesi Prize 2019 – Shortlisted • Media Architecture Award 2019 - Winner