by Tilla Bønes
Eva Kun
Arna, Lone skule, Norway

Enhance learning and reducing stress through play.

I used knowledge from neuroscience to get a deeper understanding of how we humans interact with our environment and how it affects us. For example, how do children orient and navigate? Surveys show that kindergarteners have a high cortisol level, which indicates that the children feel stressed. Stress does affect our capability to learn.  Prolonged stress will affect the development of the brain. How can we make a kindergarten that is destressing and enhancing the child’s trust and capability to learn? In Norwegian kindergartens, the curriculum is taught through play. The architecture should be a driving force and facilitate learning, – and this through play. The kindergarten is situated in Lone, Bergen. The new kindergarten is adjunct to the existing old Lone School.

Program of the kindergarten: five to six home bases, themed-rooms spread throughout the building, one common kitchen and a long common space open for the community after hours. Administration and staff facilities in the existing building of old Lone school.

The kindergarten is a “home base” based kindergarten, where a smaller group of children is assigned to one space and sharing common space for play and themed rooms. A condition from the Bergen Municipality is that Kindergartens built today should also have a function after kindergartens opening hours, moreover, be flexible in the sense that if the kindergarten would close it would be possible to use the building with a different program. In this kindergarten, the main body of the building would be open for events for the community after kindergartens openings hours. The home bases and themed rooms is placed in such a way that it is easy to close off, and still provide a quality space for diverse activities for the community.

I am also introducing “Four characters” in the common area. Four small buildings in the building, each with their own character, both in form and use of material. In this way, the children are exposed to a variety of forms and materials. Moreover, the buildings give identity to space around which helps the children to navigate