Garkalne Nursery

Status: Open competition

Year: 2021

Client: Garkalne Municipality

Place: Garkalne, Garkalne Parish, Latvia

Size: 8.99 ha;  3150 m2

Team: RUUME arhitekti  


Nursery school is an important magnet for the area. Thanks to its location next to the Primary Garkalne School, these two buildings create an education hub in the town. 

The plot faces Vidzemes road on its North side – a main transport artery and functional spine of Garkalne, and a sunny slope towards the Krievupīte river and pine forest on the South side.  An old hill covered with the pine forest makes the landscape of plot especially picturesque and unique.

The shape of the building follows the natural line of the hill, making an offset from the road to preserve a safe green buffer zone for the nursery. The building acts also as a protection wall for the children area – marking the border of the plot and shaping inner yard on the sunny slope for children activities. 

An entrance square with benches, pine park, parking and service access is made in the flattest part of the terrain. Entrance zone, building groundfloor and the celebration square are located on one level creating a connection through the hill. Second floor of the building is located on the highest peak of the hill – offering spectacular views to the forest and the river and connection to the hill itself.


Two squares connected – entrance square for Nursery visitors and Inner yard – for children outdoor activities

All children classes are separately accessible from outside

Building is oriented to South-East, providing optimal insolation for classrooms

Central atrium hall connects all the functional blocks of the nursery

The load-bearing structure is combined – reinforced concrete walls of the groundfloor and upper structure CLT elements. The dimensions of the building allow load-bearing elements to be produced in wood and as standard solutions. The use of optimal wooden elements also has a significant positive effect on the speed and accuracy of the construction process.

Natural construction and finishing materials create a healthy microclimate and improve the quality of the interior. Local natural materials that are sustainable and environmentally friendly are preferred for the construction of the building.