Shape and colour formed the basis of Estúdio Amatam’s playful design for the Kalorias Children’s Space in Linda-a-Velha, Oeiras, Portugal
Portugal-based Estúdio Amatam used colour psychology to create a children’s learning and play area within the Kalorias Health Club.
The existing space previously held two large rooms and a hall for corporate events; however, the client Salgado e Vaz wanted to transform it into a series of multipurpose rooms that would be playful and distinct for children.
Estúdio Amatam challenged itself to get away from usual architectural thinking, using colour to stimulate spatial and visual perceptions. Each of the three rooms has been designed using different shapes and colours to distinguish them, while the corridor unifies them through a number of yellow arches.
The reading room, which is used for academic support, watching films, reading and computer use, contains a small amphitheatre and a large blackboard, which is also used as a projector screen for movies and cartoons.
The room for visual arts is dominated by curved, organic shapes and vibrant colours, which aim to stimulate visual expression. The blue ceiling features white lighting that makes it reminiscent of the sky on a bright summer’s day, and the walls contain small hiding places.
The largest play area is distinguished by a “Tetris mountain” of soft blocks in green, white, orange and blue, colours that continue on around the floor, walls and ceiling in stripes. A smaller playroom is softened by a green carpet that flows up onto the walls to meet with coloured blocks that angle down from the ceiling.
The firm says the new elements – be they forms, colours, textures or graphics – were adopted to “reflect a symbolism that would allow [those] who enter into this space to be transported into a dreamlike reality”.