Estonian Association of Interior Architects / annual award 2021 laureate
Cultural Endowment of Estonia in architecture / annual award 2021 nominee
Location
Pärsti village, Viljandi vald
Interior architecture
Kaari Metslang (Ruumimeister)
Pattern design
Kristiina Ribelus (Tartu Restauraator)
Architecture
Eva Tammpere (Hekse)
Construction
Eviko
Commissioned by
Viljandi vallavalitsus
Furniture
Saloni Büroomööbli
Nursery School communications
Kuressaare Kommunaalprojekt
Design
2020
Completed
2021
Total area
145,6m2
Photos
Märt Lillesiim

COMMENT FROM THE JURY OF THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERIOR ARCHITECTS

Of all the school interiors nominated, Pärsti nursery school was the one with a clear vision of how the kids might play and learn there. The interior is bright, cheerful, colourful, playful, carefree – just like a childhood should be. Visiting the nursery school made us yearn to be kids again and attend Pärsti ourselves.

  500

Viljandi local municipality has given a complete facelift to the fairytale-like premises of the kindergarten located in Pärsti manor. The reconstruction has considered the peculiarities of the 150-year-old building, providing it with custom-made furniture fitting the manor style. The building had been waiting for renovation for several years. The reconstructed premises now include several new and exciting play areas for children. Also the corridor has been turned into a playground with various wood and felt activity centres for developing fine motor skills. A small secret door leads to the bedroom, where the stained-glass window of the alcoved climbing house allows you to check the activities taking place in the playroom. There is an exciting and soft seating island in the middle of the changing room with a security gate reminiscent of airports. The playroom includes children’s own manor cafe and a secret cupboard concealing a smartboard.
Astra Jamnes, Director of the kindergarten

Historical space and children meet at the renovated Pärsti manor nursery school. The interior architect wanted the renovation of the Historicist building to retain an air of distinguished bygone days and also aimed to consider its present-day function, and above all the kindergarteners who would be using it. The goal was to make the space cosy and playful and to keep it from seeming alien or distant for the children.

Part of the old board flooring survived from the manor era. Most of the century-old doors still existed as well, with relatively well-preserved graining under layers of finishing – the graining is showcased on one door, while on other doors, due to their high user load, it is protected by linseed oil. Interesting historical finds turned up, dovetailing well with the nursery school function – for example, a secret door, the same height as the wainscoting, which was restored in its original location, and an interior window with coloured panes that connects the naptime area with the playroom. These form the part of the interior that is exclusively in the use of the children.

A manor-era atmosphere is evoked by the picture frames, too. Back in the day, family portraits were mounted here, but now, the kids’ artwork is displayed. The colour spectrum in the interior was chosen based on material uncovered during probes, but it has been modified to support a certain psychological effect.

A thorough approach was taken to the smallest element of the space – detail. Since no manor-era ornamentation was found during the investigations, inspiration was drawn from the manor park – to bring in leaf and insect motifs to add a sophisticated look. Insect motifs can also be seen in the stencilled patterns on the painted wall and the knobs of the cupboards. Sensitivity to detail is also shown by the fact that not even the door hinges visible on an open door have not been overlooked – for safety reasons both of the hinge’s leaf plates are attached to the door jamb.

The interior architect is pleased to be working during a time when kindergartens are being valued as much as school interiors for older children, and after a period in which state upper secondary schools were built, nursery schools are now also being updated.

Text: Kaari Metslang

Source: Book “Estonian Architecture Awards 2021

I like playing and naptime and preparing a picture and balloons for the birthday kid. I like crawling into the hole in the jungle gym.
Liis-Marii, age 5

I like the shop and selling stuff there.
Armin-Erik, age 5

I like the things attached to it.
Ann-Merii, age 3, pointing to the magnetic board

Everything is perfect. I still marvel at our WC. The customizable tables offer many options for activities. The play store and the interactive board, the secret door and the nap room climbing feature are the kids’ favourites. It’s pretty amazing that we have this kind of preschool interior.
Reet Arak, teacher of the Pääsupesa group

Historical space and children meet at the renovated Pärsti manor nursery school. The interior architect wanted the renovation of the Historicist building to retain an air of distinguished bygone days and also aimed to consider its present-day function, and above all the kindergarteners who would be using it. The goal was to make the space cosy and playful and to keep it from seeming alien or distant for the children.

Part of the old board flooring survived from the manor era. Most of the century-old doors still existed as well, with relatively well-preserved graining under layers of finishing – the graining is showcased on one door, while on other doors, due to their high user load, it is protected by linseed oil. Interesting historical finds turned up, dovetailing well with the nursery school function – for example, a secret door, the same height as the wainscoting, which was restored in its original location, and an interior window with coloured panes that connects the naptime area with the playroom. These form the part of the interior that is exclusively in the use of the children.

A manor-era atmosphere is evoked by the picture frames, too. Back in the day, family portraits were mounted here, but now, the kids’ artwork is displayed. The colour spectrum in the interior was chosen based on material uncovered during probes, but it has been modified to support a certain psychological effect.

A thorough approach was taken to the smallest element of the space – detail. Since no manor-era ornamentation was found during the investigations, inspiration was drawn from the manor park – to bring in leaf and insect motifs to add a sophisticated look. Insect motifs can also be seen in the stencilled patterns on the painted wall and the knobs of the cupboards. Sensitivity to detail is also shown by the fact that not even the door hinges visible on an open door have not been overlooked – for safety reasons both of the hinge’s leaf plates are attached to the door jamb.

The interior architect is pleased to be working during a time when kindergartens are being valued as much as school interiors for older children, and after a period in which state upper secondary schools were built, nursery schools are now also being updated.

Source: Book “Ruumipilt 2021