After about a year for construction, the new home of the “Kleine Entdecker” (Little Explorers) kindergarten was officially opened in Greifswald in November 2010.
The modern, elliptical structure will accommodate up to 60 children. The curved shape of the building posed a special challenge for the materials and erectors. The idea for the unusual design came from Greifswald’s Drebing und Ehmke Architekten who won the architecture competition. After protracted deliberation, the decision was taken in favor of a facade with FUNDERMAX Exterior NT panels, which were cut to size and supplied by the Rostock sales office of ThyssenKrupp Plastics GmbH.
The two-story kindergarten is a conventional structure with a concrete slab as a raft foundation and with solid external walls, a back-ventilated curtain facade, concrete floor slabs and solid interior walls. “The geometry of the ellipse yields an economical ratio of facade surface area to building ground area,” says Axel Drebing explaining the approach. “The solid walls give the kindergarten optimal noise protection and outstanding thermal insulation.”
With the assistance of ThyssenKrupp Plastics in combination with project advice from FUNDERMAX, the metal construction specialist Grodd Metallbau erected an extremely high-grade facade with a special aluminum substructure and facade rivets with painted heads. ThyssenKrupp Plastics contributed ready-cut FUNDERMAX Exterior NT B1 panels totaling 512 m² in the colors of golden yellow, corn yellow and winter white. “The biggest challenge for us was the fabrication of the specially curved aluminum substructure that had to hug the elliptical shape of the building’s ground plan,” stresses André Grodd. “In the process, we attached huge importance to not allowing any ‘segmentation’ to become visible on the facade surface. Thanks to our good workmanship and the flexibility of the panels, this turned out really well.”
The outward appearance of the kindergarten building is structured by a grid of panel joints defined by the horizontal and vertical axes of the facade openings. The facade is multicolored, and the color scheme does not appear at first sight to follow any definite system. At the entrance to the kindergarten is a cluster of bright yellow that changes along the facade from light yellow almost to white in order to break up the design at the point of the oval’s smallest radius. The facade panels employed are thermosetting high-pressure laminates, which are riveted to the aluminum structure. At the point of the ellipse's large radius, the substructure is attached vertically and the panel thickness is 8 mm. To allow for the bending of the panels around the ellipse’s small radii, a horizontal, pre-curved substructure of aluminum was employed. The panels here are only 6 mm thick.
“The MAX Exterior high-pressure laminate panels have just the right character for this project," stresses Michael Göller, Sales Manager at ThyssenKrupp Plastics in Rostock. "They are extremely weather- and impact-resistant and display high tensile and flexural strength.” It took just a few days for the logistics center in Hamburg to cut all the required material to the desired installation sizes. With the aid of computer-controlled high-performance saws that work with a dimensional tolerance of only ± 0.3 mm and deliver precise, neat edges, the final dimensions desired by the customer were assured.
This was nothing out of the ordinary for the service professionals of ThyssenKrupp Plastics. Nearly all inquiries can be met without delay by drawing on stocked materials. An ingenious logistics system gets the goods via the fastest route to the customer – or, rather, in this case to the erector.