Creative Kids' Space by Sarit Shani Hay
 
Creative Kids' Space by Sarit Shani Hay Creative Kids' Space by Sarit Shani Hay
mar 08, 2011

Creative Kids' Space by Sarit Shani Hay

a large-scale mushroom serving as a play object in the space.

Kindergarten in Ramat Gan By Sarit Shani Hay Pictures of kindergarten by Amit Geron

The kindergarten in Ramat Gan is yet another project in Sarit Shani Hay’s oeuvre, who specializes in the design of public spaces for children. Located in an agricultural training farm, it covers 100 sq. m. and is surrounded by an extensive vegetable garden. The building is divided into two classrooms for two age groups: a younger class for 1.5-2.5 year-olds, and an advanced class for 2.5-3.5 year-olds. The kindergarten’s location in an agricultural area, was a source of inspiration for its design, which used the natural theme as a recurring element in diverse variations. Marked by Shani Hay’s idiosyncratic formalist language, the kindergarten design is typified by simple, concise lines, incorporated with concrete images from the animal kingdom, a reduced color scheme to avoid clutter, and various textures imprinted into the wood furniture. The design comprises soft, hand-sewn objects befitting the users’ young ages to ensure utmost safety, while also encouraging the children to use their imagination in the different play stations. The dimensions of the kindergarten space called for a targeted design based on needs and functionality. The result is an intimate kindergarten which offers a unique experience. The design is essentially circumferential. All the interior walls are lines with bookcases and cupboards, whereas the center is occupied by movable seating and reclining areas. The logical arrangement is the result of observations performed by the designer on site and a fruitful dialogue with the pedagogical team which listed the children’s needs. The two classrooms are separated by a large cupboard which contains the children’s mattresses and an attached connecting door. The cupboard doors are decorated with images. The bottom part contains a drawer for each child with his name on it to store his work. Each cupboard was designed according to a different theme. In the first room, figures of children are imprinted with the CNC process, engaged in scenes derived from the natural world, involving interaction with animals. The cupboard doors in the second room are imprinted with motifs of green sabra hedges with red fruits—a plant widespread in the outdoor agricultural farm, thereby connecting interior and exterior. The cupboards are laminated with Formica —relatively inexpensive and durable materials, congruent with the user-friendly PVC flooring and extensive use of leatherette. The choice of relatively inexpensive materials is juxtaposed with the discernible formal wealth. The bookcases along the walls offer storage of toys, and their height is accessible to young children. The space further incorporates specially-designed domestic objects: a house, a kitchen, an oven, a hospital bed, which enhance the sense of belonging and provide children with practice in life skills. Children’s armchairs are modeled as little bunnies with protruding ears, large alligator-shaped chaise lounges enable reclining, and market stands with red and white racks are scattered in the space, enabling practice of shopping and selling skills. Each kindergarten class is centered on a main play object: one is a large-scale mushroom consisting of steel construction cushioned with vinyl and Acrylene, serving as a house, a hiding place, a play station; the other is a wooden house with windows and a red roof, which one may enter to play, surrounded by bookcases modeled as evergreen trees. Together, all these elements generate an experiential setting which prompts the child to use his/her imagination via play, test his boundaries, while feeling safe and free. The overall design concept reflects Shani Hay’s world view adhering to imaginative design and creativity which place the child at the center both metaphorically and ergonomically.

The Ramat Gan kindergarten joins a series of public projects on which Shani Hay has been working in recent years, among them the magical kindergarten in Ramat Hasharon, alongside new design projects, such as the design of a play area in the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Unit at the Dana Children’s Hospital, Tel Aviv, and another at the David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem. All rights reserved to Sarit Shani Hay

Pictures of kindergarten by Amit Geron All rights reserved to Amit Geron

List of pictures: 1. Picture 1- a large-scale mushroom serving as a play object in the space. 2. Picture 2- the book cases along the walls offers storage for toys and prompts the child to use his imagination via play. 3. Picture 3- market stands are located in the space and enabling practice of shopping and selling skills. 4. Picture 4 and 5- wooden house surrounded by bookcases modeled as evergreen trees. 5. Picture 6- large alligator-shaped chaise lounges encouraging play while feeling safe and free.

the book cases along the walls offers storage for toys and prompts the child to use his imagination via play.

market stands are located in the space and enabling practice of shopping and selling skills.

wooden house surrounded by bookcases modeled as evergreen trees.

wooden house surrounded by bookcases modeled as evergreen trees.

large alligator-shaped chaise lounges encouraging play while feeling safe and free.

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