Early years schools: Sculpting of space and imagination.

I still remember my nursery/kindergarten classroom with a great deal of lucidity. The texture of paint on the chair and tables, the colours and the general layout of the land, as it were. In contrast, I don’t quite remember my teachers or my friends from that period – not to say that they failed me as teachers or friends, it is just what it is. I figure it has much do with being impressionable at that age and that sculpting of space has much to do with the sculpting of imagination. Having done my rounds of pre/nursery school visits in urban India this century, I am struck by how ‘Disneyfied’ everything is. I choose to call them the ‘Mickey Mouse Schools’ – the walls, tables, fixtures plastered with Goofys, Mickeys and Donalds, not to forget the Simbas and the Alladins. Predictable, dull, uninspiring, dead spaces. However all is not lost, as some remarkable architectural and interior minds have silently worked to put out school projects of remarkable inventiveness elsewhere  Take a look.

Bailly School Complex by Mikou Design Studio — Saint-Denis, France

Kindergarten by Eva Samuel Architect Urbanist & Associates — Paris, France

Les Vinyes Primary and Secondary School by MMDM Arquitectes S.C.P. — Barcelona, Spain

Maria Grazia Cutuli Primary School by 2A+P/A + IaN+ + MaO — Herat, Afghanistan

School Barvaux-Condroz by LR Architects — Barvaux-Condroz, Belgium


Chromatic Play by Juana Canet Arquitectos — Mallorca, Spain

Sra Pou Vocational School by Rudanko + Kankkunen — Sra Pou, Cambodia

Sarreguemines Nursery by Michel Grasso and Paul Le Quernec — Sarreguemines, France

Antas Education Centre by AVA Architects — Porto, Portugal

The Josephine Baker Schools by Dominique Coulon & Associés — La Courneuve, France

Leimondo Nursery School by Archivision Hirotani Studio — Nagahama, Japan

Timayui Kindergarten by Giancarlo Mazzanti — Santa Marta, Colombia

Galjoen School by Rocha Tombal — The Hague, The Netherlands

Crèche Rue Pierre Budin by ECDM — Paris, France

Kindergarten Kekec by Arhitektura Jure Kotnik — Ljubljana, Slovenia

Related Posts

Share this! :)

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "Early years schools: Sculpting of space and imagination."

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Ashmita Agarwal

I am currently a psychology under-grad student. I would like to become a kindergarten teacher. I do plan on getting my masters, but I’m not sure in what. How can I become a kindergarten teacher with a 4 year degree in psychology? Is it possible?

Loretta Neale

I want to be a nursery school teacher but i want to see if it will pay the bills

Richa Bumba

Does the child start preschool age 2 and then nursery at 4 and primary school at 5? Is the only one they are legally obligated to attend primary school?

I want my child to attend all of these but just curious to know and where to get more info!


junior years in school are probably the most difficult,,, these schools look fantastic.


Milindo..i agree with your observations..i would also add maintenance of spaces as a key differentiator. Some of the preschools that i visited were not only without adequate light and air, but also terribly neglected..do not visit some of their loos!


Sharing this! Danke


I would have loved to go to one these schools. lol. I checked out some ‘franchisee preschools’ in Mumbai and some of them were dungeons in basements. :(


I found the Herat Afghanistan one quite interesting in terms of the project..thanks for the project link

trevor g

the Santa Marta kids look like they are having fun! Its good to see some pics with kids in them, i find just buildings terribly boring


I just love the Josephine Baker schools in France. Good to see it here as a worthy mention.


This is quite interesting…..but i think the design/achitecture perspective is mostly European.


Nice list. I have trooped around for an appropriate school for my 4 year old…and most of the schools are so depressing.


Sarreguemines, France – interesting structure and interiors! Maybe too candy pink for my liking..


Portugal! Portugal!


Good architecture makes ALL the difference… Bad architecture makes anything unlivable…forget schooling.