Being situated in a high-density area, the building of Giraffe Childcare Centre gets a rugged skyline. A humongous yellow giraffe pokes its head out from the building of the childcare center. This gigantic statue acts as a supporting column for the building, as its body pushes up through a cantilevered upper story, so that the long neck, head, and legs of the giraffe can be seen by passersby. 

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This public place speaks about the world of childhood. The thought is to make an occasion that drives the public space utilizing a puerile creative mind. A giraffe is a pioneer and unobtrusively brushes the tree layer reachable while a polar bear is attempting to move to the upper porch from the south and a ladybug parade through the nursery.

Kids might be hesitant to leave their parents when taken to a childcare facility, however, the individuals who put their focus on the Giraffe Childcare Center will be more hesitant to leave it. It looks like a fossilized giraffe was uncovered at the building site and on second thought of moving it to some kind of gallery, the architect chose to build around it. After looking into it further, the exact sculpture is a synthetic development.

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Giraffe Childcare Center by Hondelatte Laporte Architectes: Storytelling through Architecture - Sheet1
HUMONGOUS YELLOW GIRAFFE OF GIRAFFE CHILDCARE CENTER_ ©https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d4ea/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0081/slideshow/03-Street_view_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933433

Located in C1 Block of the Seguin Rives De Seine district in Boulogne Billancourt (92), Paris, France, housing a 60-bed childcare center and 20-bed day nursery, Giraffe Childcare Centre by Hondelatte Laporte Architectes has been awarded the ‘Zero Energie Effinergie’ label. 

This building is located next to Jean Nouvel’s ‘’Horizon’’ tower, at the junction between the ‘’Vieux Pont De Serves’’ neighborhood built in the 70s, and the new area called ‘’Le Trapeza’’. Its client was Saem Val De Seine Amenagement. The construction started in 2012 and it was completed in January 2019 in an area of 1450 m², costing around 3744000 € HT. 

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GIRAFFE CHILDCARE CENTER_© https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d4d7/b3fc/4b7e/0800/007f/slideshow/02-Street_view_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933426
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Design of Giraffe Childcare Centre

The building is composed of three tiers so that it remains integrated into the urban landscape. Every south-facing playground is in continuity with its interior spaces and is made unique with the installation of concrete animal sculptures. When viewed from the neighboring towers, the regular sequence of the terrace exhibits a ‘fifth façade’ to its neighbours. 

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The giraffe statue stands tall starting from the ground floor to rising above the roof, while the polar bear stands on the first floor trying to climb on the second. The plan of the building is rectangular with the giraffe on the rear side and open green space in the front. The rooms are arranged along the periphery of the longer sides of the rectangle having the corridor in between.

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SITE PLAN_© https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d6dc/b3fc/4b7e/0800/008f/slideshow/01-HLA_PREsse_BOU_PLAN_MASSE.jpg?1413933540
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FIRST FLOOR PLAN_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d6f5/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0091/slideshow/03-HLA_PREsse_BOU_PLN_01.jpg?1413933586
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ROOF PLAN_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d727/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0093/slideshow/05-HLA_PREsse_BOU_PLN_TT.jpg?1413933606
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ELEVATION_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d762/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0095/slideshow/07-HLA_PREsse_BOU_FAC_NO.jpg?1413933613
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ELEVATION _© https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d772/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0096/slideshow/08-HLA_PREsse_BOU_FAC_NE.jpg?1413933671
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ELEVATION _© https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d82f/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0097/slideshow/09-HLA_PREsse_BOU_FAC_SE.jpg?1413933702
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The entrance is located at the rear part of the building so that one has to walk through the legs of the giraffe to enter into the building, this creates an affable ambiance inviting the visitors to live their dreams. It creates a feel of moving through a jungle and experiencing the world of animals.

“Through their affable form, the lively animal sculptures invite us to live our dreams,” describe the architects. The wild animals just blend with the space. The polar bear appears to be climbing up the stairs, and a family of ladybirds seems to be climbing the façade in an attempt to reach the interior patio. The animal sculptures are a redundant feature in the design, specially made for children, and the architects have previously featured a restaurant with a model elephant inside.

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ENTRANCE_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d4fd/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0084/slideshow/06-The_entrance_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933442

Materials Used to Construct Giraffe Childcare Centre

All of the animals starting from the giraffe to the polar bear and the ladybirds are constructed out of concrete. The exterior façade of the building is composed out of white corrugated iron cladding which provides a series of bright white elevations. This metal cladding facade creates a minimal background to the wild animal sculptures.

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CONCRETE FAÇADE AND LADYBIRDS_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d53c/b3fc/4b7e/0800/008b/slideshow/13-The_ladybird_family_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933478
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INSIDE OF GIRAFFE CHILDCARE CENTER _© https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d51d/b3fc/4b7e/0800/0088/slideshow/10-Interior_view_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933464

Sustainability in Giraffe Childcare Centre

“The idea is to animate the urban landscape by using a child’s imagination”, says Hondelatte Laporte Architectes. The architecture seems to tell some story. The animal sculpture and the trees besetting the building link with nature and its motion. The whole structure seems to blend with nature and its surroundings. The architecture changes its identity and becomes a landscape in its own right, a metaphor for ‘urban jungle’. 

The giraffe acts as a banner for the building as it is visible in its surrounding area from all angles, and it also appears to be eating the leaves of the surrounding trees from the neighboring park, thus creating a feeling for the visitors of being in an urban jungle. The play with materials and the construction techniques, and the aesthetic composition help the building become sustainable.

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POLAR BEAR STATUE_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d544/b3fc/4b7e/0800/008c/slideshow/14-The_she-bear_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933483
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POLAR BEAR STATUE_ © https://images.adsttc.com/media/images/50ed/d54c/b3fc/4b7e/0800/008d/slideshow/15-The_she-bear_%C2%A9_P.Ruault.jpg?1413933487

For the giraffe crazy people, there is a house with a front door tall enough to let one of the animals or the giraffe enclosure at Rotterdam Zoo. The dreamlike playful sculptures create a fantasy into the regular boring life of the town. 

References

Author

Lipika Pandey, is one of the millions of young aspiring architecture students, who is determined to make her successful career in the respective field. She wants to bring a positive change in the society. She is focused and enthusiast on learning new skills and grow. She loves reading and writing.

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