NEXT architects creates a sensory daycare that mimics the city

all images courtesy of NEXT architects
all photography by jeroen musch




in amsterdam, a children’s school is illuminated by rotund spheroid sky lights, and named after hestia, the goddess of hearth and architecture. NEXT architects + claudia linder have brought the popular teaching philosophy of the reggio emilia to life in the ‘hestia daycare center’. according to the reggio emilia approach, the role of the physical environment has a significant impact on the development of the child and is often referred to as the ‘third teacher’. the importance of this theory has been translated into the spatial concept of the building in the spirit of a city. a collection of rooms, with various heights, and spaces measuring in different areas, allow the toddlers to use exploration as an active role in learning. the tactile scale stimulates the children’s navigational skills by moving around their surroundings much like an urban environment.


‘the hundred languages’ belief is that all children express themselves in at least one hundred ways. this is taken literally as signage through the daycare is written in multiple languages.



the organization of the building incorporates mixed service modules for large and small group activities



children enter the space through a gap in the bottom of the door



the lunchroom is designed to encourage community that is interactive



children playing in spaces that are not defined by four walls



much like a city, different views and openings yearn to be explored



indoor and outdoor classrooms are essential in the ‘hespia daycare center’



wooden paneling and furniture define the space


NEXT architects creates a sensory daycare that mimics the city



building plan






project info:


architect: next architects
collaborator: claudia linders
location: rivierenbuurt, amsterdam
project name: hestia
program: daycare-centre
floor area: 470sqm
cost: €690.000,00
preliminary design: march 2009
final design: july 2009
completion: july 2011
construction advisors: pieters bouwtechniek, rogier schuch/paul rijpstra
building technic: cad 4, jan willem rotmensen
main contractor: reimert bouw en infrastructuur
installations: valstar simonis
photographer: jeroen musch