Multistorey kindergartens


I'm looking for good and interesting examples of multistorey (with 2-3 or more floors) kindergartens. Preferably ones that also demonstrate clever use of roof space and have large common yards and playgrounds.

Can be from anywhere, and don't need to be of starchitecture quality.

Links to relevant projects and comments on the topic will be highly welcome!

Jan 10, 17 5:32 am

must be something here:

Jan 10, 17 5:40 am

Asilo Sant'Elia has a roof space.  

Jan 10, 17 8:07 am

This is tricky in the states we have building codes that restrict these facilities to be ground floor or to have direct access to exterior grade level exit. it is a safety concern because the toddlers and infants can not evacuate in the event of a fire down stairs, or that is the code issue we encountered last time I had to work on one (was in an office building). The local fire department had us widen the exterior doors so they can roll the cribs out the exterior door and the garden gate as well. Often what is done is older kids get to be on upper floors but they keep most preschool rooms in daycare on the ground floor for this reason. I have seen a situation where there was a sloped site and they had 2 floors one exiting out the front and the other out the rear of the building,but at grade. Tiny feet and legs just don't do well on stairs.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Jan 10, 17 10:29 am

Thanks for the information, and Peter, thanks for your thoughtful input.

As much as I tend to understand the general preference for single storey (at-grade) structures for kindergartens (which, btw, differ from daycare centers), it seems that it becomes a heavy planning burden in dense urban environments, and I am not even talking about hyper-dense cities which need to address the issue in a completely different manner.

Adults too do better without stairs, even if their feet are no longer tiny. But this doesnt mean buildings should not stretch vertically and make better use of scarce urban land. And solutions that can meet the codes are plenty: ramps, elevators, even slides... What I was looking for are projects that showed 'outside the box' thinking, not the norms and codes that created it.

Jan 12, 17 12:27 pm

I think Peter's advise is good, but I also think he's confused some important distinctions in the code. At least the IBC being used in the states. Other codes, local codes, or AHJs may have different, more specific, requirements.

The IBC doesn't have any specific requirements for kindergarten facilities to be located on the ground floor or have direct access to exterior grade level exits. There is a requirement that child day care facilities, when being classified as Group E, and providing care for more than 5, but not more than 100 children 2.5 years of age or less have the rooms located on a level of exit discharge and each of the rooms have an exit door directly to the exterior. If you can't meet those stipulations then you'd have to classify your child day care facilities as Group I-4 where there are no special requirements for egress concerning location on level of exit discharge or direct access to the exterior. 

Even then, most kindergarten facilities aren't for children 2.5 years old or younger ... at least where I live. Day care? Yes. Kindergarten? No. Most kindergartens are for children 5-6 years old ... maybe slightly younger, but not usually down to 2.5 years old. Kindergarten facilities would simply be classified Group E and I'm not aware of any special considerations required in the IBC for Group E means of egress that would be applicable to kindergarten facilities alone. 

Jan 12, 17 2:10 pm

Everyday Intern , you are correct in that I simplified things too much, in states you have building codes and then a separate code for the day care or school licence, same with nursing homes in many places. ADA guidelines do have some elements but you have to carefully look up all of the overlapping jurisdictional guidelines. For example access to sunlight and sq ft of play area per child are state and local issues mostly and since there have been, in the past, some truly dreadful and dangerous designs we have this labyrinth of regulations to prevent a basement box with no windows and no place for the kids to play outside. I think the key design task is to lay out these requirements and then find ways to bend the rules and design solutions around them that are truly innovative. Schools, especially for younger children, have such a huge pile of overlapping guidelines regulations and unique needs making it frustrating to get out of the box when confronted with a constrained urban site. This is a hard building type to work with.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Jan 13, 17 7:05 pm

Everyday Intern, remember that IBC is not the only code widely used in the US. NFPA 101, which is in force in many US states in addition to IBC or in a few cases instead of it, requires that kindergartens and first grades must have direct access to grade, and that second graders can only be located a story or below grade if they have their own dedicated stair.  Any function for which more than 4 students in kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade can be expected to occupy the room at one time also must adhere to these rules - i.e. you can't put music, art, library, nurse, etc. on a floor above or below grade either.

Jan 14, 17 11:22 am

I get all of that, and I'm not disagreeing with the concepts, but I was trying not to write a novel-like Balkins post. My post was specific to the IBC as qualified in the first paragraph (and throughout). The IBC being a widely adopted model code throughout the states.

I know there are other codes and regulations* that affect the design of schools, etc. The point being that there isn't a simple code requirement applying throughout the states like Peter's initial post purported. It will vary according to local jurisdictional requirements (as I acknowledged initially).

*And even guidelines/recommendations like the one contained here for Virginia's public schools that aren't requirements, but might be enforced as such by officials:

Jan 14, 17 12:46 pm

^ section 4.5 if your interested in the specific reference in the PDF above

Jan 14, 17 12:47 pm

Peter, thanks for the GEMS Academy project links. Cool project! (and very relevant to my interests), I wasn't familiar with it before.

Jan 16, 17 12:46 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in:

Please wait... loading
Please wait... loading