Image in modal.

The namesake Berlin studio of Pritzker Prize–winning Burkinabé-German architect Francis Kéré has revealed its latest project: a “vertical” daycare center on the campus of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) that will be built almost exclusively from timber. “We wanted to take the sustainability of the building to the extreme and build it entirely out of wood,” said Kéré. The five-story structure, which broke ground on April 18 at a site adjacent to the university cafeteria, is designed by Kéré Architecture in collaboration with Hermann Kaufmann + Partner (HK Architekten), a Schwarzach, Austria-based firm specializing in timber buildings. Per the firm, the all-wood construction will consider local standards for energy efficiency, thermal comfort, fire protection, and acoustics.

 Ingeborg Pohl Kinderoase an der TUM.

Image © Kéré Architecture

As detailed in a press release, the center—named Ingeborg Pohl Kinderoase an der TUM after its financial patron—will be operated by the Munich Student Union and accommodate up to 60 children, who will have romping reign over roughly 7,500 square feet of interior floor space designed by Kéré Architecture to “spark creativity.” As designed, the first level is dedicated to administrative space while the second, third, and fourth floors will house the childcare facilities; interior slides will connect some of the floors, which will be grouped by age. The top floor will be home to a sheltered rooftop terrace-slash-outdoor play area dubbed Himmelswiese—German for “field of the heavens.”

“When we build for the little ones, we want them to be able to run around outside and feel the elements,” said Kéré. “I would also like to colonize the neighboring roofs, starting by connecting our building with the roof of the cafeteria and turning that into a giant meadow.”

 Ingeborg Pohl Kinderoase an der TUM


 Ingeborg Pohl Kinderoase an der TUM


Images © Kéré Architecture

Ingeborg Pohl Kinderoase an der TUM, which is slated to be completed at the end of next year, isn’t the first project for TUM designed by Kéré Architecture, which, although Berlin-based, works extensively across Africa, including in Kéré’s native Burkina Faso. In 2019, the firm was commissioned to design a multi-use, cross-disciplinary civic hub for the university’s Garching research campus. The resultant TUM Tower, which evokes the “essence and shape” of Bavarian maypole traditions, remains unbuilt.

 Ingeborg Pohl Kinderoase .

Image © Kéré Architecture

Kéré was a featured speaker at RECORD’s 2022 Innovation Conference, which was held several months after he was named as the 51st Pritzker laureate. Registration is now open for the upcoming 2024 Innovation Conference, to be held on October 1 in New York City.