Integrative Kindertagesstätte Sausewind, kindergarten - Dresden, Germany
Client: Landeshauptstadt Dresden | 2006

The kindergarten „Sausewind“ is a council run childcare facility, where both disabled and able-bodied children are taught. There are 158 pupils in total: 118 children between the ages of 3 to 6 years and 40 children under 3. Eight places are provided for children with special needs.

The kindergarten was built in 1972 and opened 1st January 1973. In 2006 the City Council decided on the complete renovation of the facilities, including the garden, with an overall budget of 1.8 million Euros. The building was reconstructed between August 2006 and September 2007, with the garden restructured simultaneously. The inauguration took place 19th November 2007.

Between the first opening in 1973 and the reconstruction, the garden remained almost untouched. In recent years, the educational policies of the kindergarten have been reviewed and successfully implemented. However, the garden no longer fulfilled the kintergarten’s needs. A complete makeover of the exterior was therefore necessary.

The concept for the external spaces of the kindergarten is based on the idea, that the garden must be a landscape to play and to be experienced with all the senses. The formerly flat terrain was remodelled and new spaces were created which allow diverse activities without conflicts: spaces to be active and passive, noisy and silent, fast and slow, where to both let off steam and rest.

The use of different natural materials and lush planting are further important elements of the design.
Intensively used areas around the house have been paved with various materials: an asphalted path loops around the house and provides space for scooters, bicycles and other small vehicles. A surface paved with decomposed granite accommodates tables and benches to eat outside in summer. Other than that, only the entrance area and a little square for festivities in the back of the house are paved; impermeable materials were reduced to a minimum. The existing planting was analysed and most of it was integrated into the design. The plants, which were chosen for the supplementary planting, are mainly indigenous, and of high ecological value. They offer interesting aspects, like flowers and fruits throughout the year, which allow children to experience the seasons and their changes.

Hills and peripheral areas are covered with wildflower meadows, whereas in central areas a robust lawn provides space to play. Nevertheless all areas are accessible. They are mown with different regimes in order to let the meadow flower.

Playground equipment has also been chosen to provide experiences that nature cannot offer in the same way, e.g. swinging and sliding. The items are placed sparingly and are well integrated into the surroundings. Each of them is unique, made of naturally warped locust wood. Of course they all meet the relevant safety regulations. Moreover natural elements like tree trunks, stones, boulders, and many others stimulate play and discovery.


With the collaboration of Sabine Sigmund, Dipl. Ing. Landschaftsarchitektur FH and Florian Ehrler, Dipl. Ing. Landschaftsarchitektur FH - Dresden, Germany.