Day care center for children at Pestalozziplatz in Frankfurt am Main, 2014
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Program: Day care center for 110 children (5 groups) in timber, passive house standard
Client: Kita Frankfurt, represented by the building department of the city of Frankfurt
Cost: Total cost 4.3 million Euro gross, including demolition of the existing day care center
Construction time:2013 - 2014
Gross floor area: 1635 m2
Energy consumption: 15 kWh/m2a

The day care center located in the listed residential ensemble of Bornheimer Hang in Frankfurt, designed by Ernst May in 1929, replaces a temporary wooden pavilion building from the 1940s.

The urban guidelines for the listed ensemble of Ernst May allowed a one-story building, to the exception of some areas where a two-story construction was permitted. The existing trees were to be kept.

In order to achieve the maximum continuous open playground space and following the urban plan requirements, we chose to build a compact L-shaped volume with a terrace on the first level: a solitaire building, hiding behind a tree curtain in a park-like space.

The terrace is shielded from the street by the 2-story wing for the school children. This terrace was designed to serve as an extended outdoor playground. To the north and east the building opens with an intimate square next to the main entrance and the public playground.

The roof of the two-story wing which is seen from all surrounding taller buildings has a green roof.

The plan evolves around a central hall. This hall serves as the main foyer and circulation area but is also a covered extension of the out door space. In combination with the terrace on the upper level the required playground area could be demonstrated.

The class rooms are displayed according to the different age levels. Each class has an undisturbed out door space balancing different age and mobility needs. The multi-purpose room can be connected to the public playground in the north.

The building constructed of almost 100% timber parts meets passive-house standards.

The construction in timber ensures a sustainable design consuming only minimal grey energy with the advantage of a "dry and fast construction site". The traditionally high precision of timber construction standards supports the requirements of passive house standards in terms of climate proof.

By employing a high insulated timber construction, triple glazed passive house windows, manual cooling at night, a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, and an exterior shading system for the summer, the goal of energy consumption of max. 15hWh/m2a could be achieved.

The façade cladding is made of three-layered wooden panels with a color prime and a weatherproof and UV resistant coating.