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child and youth day care centre, salzburg-taxham

    architecture-landscapes + neighbourhood therapies
    norbert mayr / architektur aktuell / 9/2001 / extract

    the appearance of post-war taxham housing estate to the west of the city of salzburg is dominated by steep hipped roofs. hardy any energy had been invested in the creation of an attractive neighbourhood or in the building of schools. to compensate, spatial quality and an intelligent strategy were placed at the centre of the newly competed extension for the school complex consisting of a child and youth day care centre. for their first project, the salzburg architects flöckner and schnöll placed a striking 'timber hat' on the sports hall tract, improved the schoolyard instead of building over it, while also linking generous spaces with environmental considerations and the promotion of economic efficiency. the links to the general public around the building are the outset of an improvement in the quality of the outdoor space of taxham that is yet to become more intense.

    the realisation of the six group taxham day nursery and youth centre was preceded by a competition launched by the clients. the local council had decided to take the cheapest proposal. the building authorities and the architects christine and horst lechner, as consultants to the competition's organisers, developed a procedure whereby the cost guarantee was not central to the choice of the project but where an upper limit was formulated. environmental factors, the consideration of ensuing running costs as well as an urban architectural quality were essential. forty teams of architects and investors participated in the preliminary rounds, with specialists in the fields of energy technology, environmental analysis, structural technologies and child teaching methods. in collaboration with the dedicated specialists, the architects maria flöckner and hermann schnöll with immorent, the investor, overcame these hurdles and could realise their own ideas without any major cutbacks despite having a fixed price guarantee to deal with.
    the day care centre sits as a kind of lightweight timber hat on the existing sports hall tract of the school. in the best sense 'economic', this intelligent decision kept the valuable schoolyard free instead of building over it as was proposed by most of the solutions submitted to the competition. the playground and recreational yard was newly articulated, a small grove was planted with scented bunches of flowers and edible fruit. the protrusions, under which are areas protected from the rain, are seen as a communicative form by the architects. they are a part of the unmistakably striking volume erected in timber panels, with its idiosyncratic overlapping, folds and flaps.
    as a thoroughly planned networking of interior, open-air and public spaces, this form has the capacity to become a nucleus in order to make the entire school district easier to reach on foot. connecting stairs open the courtyard in the direction of the residential district, parish centre and recreational spaces.
    furthermore, the enclosure of the sports hall forms a significant prerequisite for the intelligent energy concept, also allowing for optimal lighting conditions. measures such as the high level of heat insulation and controlled ventilation of the space in winter mean the imported fuel requirements for the day care centre is almost zero as the quantity involved is equivalent to the heat-loss previously experienced by the sports hall below.
    the primary theme of the design, the 'hat' as a warming sleeve for its contents, the 'hat' as a warming cladding of the contents, is also appropriate to the organisation of the interior with an open hall and a generous spatial sequence. hatched open roof surfaces contribute to the differentiated control of the lighting conditions. the hall promises the children and the youths a variety of possibilities for movement, a choice of routes and areas for withdrawing into (niches, a mattress store and more). the sanitary areas, wooden walls, cloakroom etc. are behind translucent glass walls. the refectory is part of the high hall and adjacent to the movement space, separated only by a glass wall. warm, discrete colours (ochre predominates) have been selected to match the wooden wall and ceiling made of beechwood. the six tranquil and bright spaces for the playgroups are adapted to suit the children's own age group structure. by means of a movable storage box, the ones for the six to ten-year-olds are articulated like an apartment or can be used as one large single space. another playgroup has been given a play cave. the age group ten to fourteen-year-olds is offered a continuous space in tower-shaped building elements, a succession of pedestals of different heights with different uses (for doing homework, watching tv, a 'laboratory', for small groups).
    when the manageress of the day care centre also decides to devide this 'spatial laboratory' into two groups by means of a glazed partition, she uses the generosity of the main hall. in order to optimise its integration, the didactic concept for work was rethought and an opening of the playgroups was introduced. subsequently, work and play is to become possible beyond group divisions, which is to offer the children a broader spectrum of contacts and experiences.
    the taxham day nursery and youth centre won the regional architecture prize for 2000, shared with max rieder's kindergarten in aigen. the perceptibly successful acquisition met up to the claims of the architect-duo, of creating a 'place to promote social contact and generate activity'.



    technical data

    client: stadtgemeinde salzburg, baudirektion
    planning: maria flöckner and hermann schnöll, salzburg
    investor: immorent ag, linz

    consultants : gmi engineers, dornbirn / energy concept // kaufmann holzbauwerk, dornbirn / realization concept // merz & kaufmann, dornbirn / structural engineering / timber // pgh, linz / structural engineering / general // irmgard wallner, anif / pedagogical concept // roman hauser, puch / ecological concept // dr. lothar künz, hard / thermical calculations // gtm, frankenmarkt / electrical systems

    timber construction: kaufmann holzbauwerk, reuthe

    usable floor area: 1.680m2
    cubage: 5.850m3

    start of planning: 1998
    start of construction: 1999
    completion: 2000


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