Often it takes a trademark parental mix of cajoling and threats to get their offspring to nursery but youngsters at this centre in Paris can’t take too much persuading. That’s because architects Hondelatte-Laporte have included a huge yellow giraffe as part of the building’s structure whose legs you have to walk through to enter, and whose head peers over the surrounding neighbourhood. The Giraffe Childcare Centre also boasts a huge white bear and a set of concrete ladybirds crawling up one of its walls.
“Architecture turns into storytelling,” say Hondelatte-Laporte. “The building changes its identity and becomes a landscape in its own right, a metaphor for the urban jungle. The animals and the trees link the building to nature and motion. Through their affable form, the lively animal sculptures invite us to live our dreams. These playful and dreamlike sculptures introduce a little bit of fantasy into the routine life of the town in order to inspire our lives with a bit of poetry.”
Heck forget the kids, I want to work in a building where I have to walk through a giraffe’s legs every day!
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