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Ethiopian satellite Preschool
  • Nomination for the “Portfolio Architecture / Public Architecture” section

Ethiopian satellite Preschool

Authors: Adina Dobrota, Ana-Dora Matei, Raluca Popovici, Andreea Stanica, Eusebio Ungureanu, Alecsandru Vasiliu
Firm: Latitudine53

Authors’ Comment

It started with the well. One dot on a vast field. One frame after another, one wall after another, the well was surrounded by public spaces – the dining hall, the adult learning center, and the orchard. The building grew with its pupils – it had a long-term dream and built toward it, brick by brick.

Then we focused on the childhood space – modular, triangular pavilions – a playful geometry that created various indoor spaces and structured the courtyards – the adult/quiet spaces (around the kitchen and orchard), the preschool playgrounds, the sports fields, the meeting, and hiding spots. Regular, flexible, and easy to construct, based on simple angles and divisions – yet generating unique layouts on each site. Each triangle hosts a rectangle – the classroom – regular, simple, and sober. The classroom, in turn, generates the pockets and corridors – a myriad of spaces, dynamic perspectives, and unique learning opportunities, while using basic materials, details, and constructive techniques.

As it grew it became a community center, the meeting place, and the third teacher to new generations – its heart is still there – the well – now surrounded and protected by the new core - dining room and multipurpose expansions and signaled by the tall kitchen chimneys.

The structure, materials, and geometries are exposed. They teach us geometry, they teach us physics, the different textures of the walls and flooring address our senses and kinetic intelligence, the pockets create places to hide or to socialize, the rain and its noise and smell or the sun and how it changes our space talk about nature.

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