Operating on the premise that life is an ongoing education, this collection of kindergartens, universities, workplaces, libraries and even installations show us that "work" spaces (where we spend much of our time) need not be drab, but inspire creativity and a sense of fun.
For example, BAMscape designed by Faulders Studio is a public seating environment located within the Berkeley Art Museum atrium gallery. Designed with wireless Internet and integrated outlets, the space encourages a range of activities, such as individual work, a place of meeting/social engagement or relaxation.
It is an architecture that acknowledges that by designing different types of space, such as those conducive to small or solo occupancy as well as that which facilitates opportunities for collaboration can result in better learning and working outcomes.
Colour is a major theme throughout the book. Elap Arquitectos’ Nursery 8 units in Vélez-Rubio, Spain (above) is a world of light and colour. Walls, windows, floors and furniture are mixed and matched in heady shades to stimulate minds and create a sense of fun. While circular windows tinted emerald, aqua, rose and tangerine stream a rainbow of sunlight across the interior.
Kekec Kindergarten designed by Architektura Jure Kotnik is an addition to an existing kindergarten. The new structure tends to the original kindergarten's lack of play equipment, creating a playful slatted vertical facade.
A childcare centre can also provide public amenities, such as the Ecoplois Plaza in Madrid (above) serving the community even outside of day care hours and vibrantly regenerating an area of urban sprawl.
The Geopark designed by Helen & Hard is situated in the heart of Norway's oil industry and utilises recycled petroleum related elements, transforming the formerly abandoned site into a bustling urban space. The waterfront park accommodates a range of activities - biking, skating, climbing, exhibition, sports and relaxation; the topography reflecting the geological layers of the field.
A playground that also doubles as a beautiful sculpture/installation is the Woods of Net in Ninotaira, Japan. Tezuka architects and artist Toshiko Macadam collaborated to create a hand-knitted land of colour and form for children to crawl and jump on.