Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Analysis of the Situation in the Field of Architecture of Public Nurseries and Schools in Slovenia – Inventory, Evaluation and Protection of Cases of High-Quality (Sustainable) Architectural Practice

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.12.01  Social sciences  Architecture and Design  Architecture 

Code Science Field
T240  Technological sciences  Architecture, interior design 

Code Science Field
6.04  Humanities  Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music) 
kindergartens, schools, architecture, design, quality, sustainability, renovation, school space
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19406  PhD Matej Blenkuš  Architecture and Design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  188 
2.  11606  PhD Majda Cencič  Educational studies  Researcher  2016 - 2019  480 
3.  13183  PhD Alenka Fikfak  Urbanism  Researcher  2016 - 2019  674 
4.  32005  Mojca Gregorski  Architecture and Design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  122 
5.  32010  Miha Konjar  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2016 - 2019  71 
6.  35806  PhD Tina Štemberger  Educational studies  Researcher  2016 - 2019  236 
7.  11310  PhD Martina Zbašnik-Senegačnik  Architecture and Design  Head  2016 - 2019  534 
8.  32436  Mitja Zorc  Architecture and Design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  230 
9.  12101  PhD Tadeja Zupančič  Architecture and Design  Researcher  2016 - 2019  452 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0791  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture  Ljubljana  1626949  8,647 
2.  2158  University of Primorska Faculty of Education  Koper  1810014003  14,844 
The focus of the Research Project is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary assessment of the quality of public nurseries and schools in Slovenia, based on which the guidelines of high-quality design of buildings and spaces for early childhood and school education will be put forward. The stock of educational buildings is extensive, presenting a major part of the public building stock in Slovenia. The built environment, in a contemporary approach to education, is an important teaching environment and, as such, often referred to as the “third educator”. Accordingly, it can be an important factor in the education process; thus, the planning and design of nurseries and schools are among the most important and responsible tasks of the architectural profession. The traditional space for early childhood care and group learning has recently gained new, innovative functions in teaching approaches, which are based on understanding children as individual personalities with their own creative potential. New functions of the contemporary spaces intended for early childhood and school education also require measures and guidelines for their planning and design. Spatial norms necessitate increasingly larger surface areas, while requirements for flexible and diversely designed spaces emerge. Other requirements (often contingent in law) emerge, such as increase in energy efficiency of buildings, improvement of earthquake, fire, and general safety, access for motor-impaired persons, etc. These requirements ask for a wide range of interventions into the existing building stock (e.g. energy renewal, adaptation of size of the facilities, alterations). These interventions are mostly partial, directed at improving or changing of one area only, and therefore often coupled with many negative consequences in other areas. The Research Project will focus on public schools and nurseries that are by far the most prevalent in Slovenia. The rare private nursery and school establishments have mostly highly targeted content, and their buildings are mostly adapted to this. The central research content will be directed at studying the existing buildings, i.e. spaces of nurseries and primary schools, from the perspective of sustainable architectural design, including spatial design (flexibility, adaptability, diversity, etc.) and site selection and placement of structures into space/landscape, visual composition characteristics of spaces for education, use of materials, choice of the systems providing the comfort of living (lighting, heating, ventilation, shading, etc.), integration of exteriors and interiors, integration of the school with the social surroundings of the neighbourhood, etc. The physical or built environment of a nursery or school impacts the learning process, relationships and culture, study results, integration and partnership, etc.; thus, the Research Project will be also investigated from the pedagogical perspective: as an inclusive learning space adapted to the needs of various users,  with often different needs; as an interactive space allowing for interaction with objects, various materials, peers, adults, etc.; encouraging creativity and innovation, also by including specific inspirational objects; allowing for a healthy working environment that works for, not against, students and staff, etc. Various working methods will be used in the Research Project. Besides the theoretical part of analysing the architecture of the selected buildings, where inductive, deductive and comparison methods will be combined, an analysis of the contemporary theory about the school learning environment, as an empirical non-experimental research, will be made, which will include a triangulation of data sources, because the study will include samples of children, educators, and heads of schools. The work at the Research Project will be underway separately for nursery and school buildings, i.e. as two parallel studies using the same methods. Under the Research Pro
Significance for science
This project will allow for cooperation of various professions involved in the areas of education, particularly in the segment of nursery and school architecture and their use. The Research Group is highly interdisciplinary, both in terms of content as well as research and applied results, as it includes researchers active in the applied field, i.e. building design.       Relevance to the development of core professions   The expected result of a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of architectural typology of Slovenian public nurseries and schools is the key contribution to developing the profession; this is a novelty in Slovenia and provides a model for inventory taking for other kinds of public institutions (secondary schools, higher education institutions, public libraries, etc.). In this work we will develop original scientific research methods exploring the case studies that combine both core and complementary knowledge of the professions involved with nurseries and schools.   With the Research Project, the field of architecture will gain a comprehensive insight into the situation in the field of quality architecture of public nurseries and schools and substantive starting points for the future work in the field. This will provide best-quality professional material, which is now missing in the profession not only in the field of the typology concerned, but in all segments of constructing buildings of social relevance.   With this project, pedagogy will be provided with a range of practices of how to exploit the existing spatial characteristics of nurseries and schools as far as possible to provide a more quality education, and how to (pedagogically) improve the less appropriate spaces using adaptations and conversions.   Relevance to the development of professional education   By including the students into research work the new professional knowledge will be directly transferred to the new generations of architects. The study process, as part of its regular content in the Design Studio 2–5 courses, includes the acquisition of knowledge in the field of planning various types of buildings. Nurseries and schools have a special place among them and are both qualitatively and quantitatively an important part of the fundamental tasks of the architectural profession. The system of analysing the various high-quality cases of public nurseries and schools, which will involve the research work of students, is an excellent addition to the existing study programme content.   In summary, the manual will provide an important professional and scientific contribution to architecture and pedagogy. Its significance also lies in the fact that the knowledge of other professions, as mentioned in the starting points of this proposal, will be included in an ... (tekst se nadaljuje…) Nadaljevanje teksta je v prilogi 21_1. Sistem javlja preveliko število znakov, čeprav je v razpisu dovoljenih 12.000.
Significance for the country
Significance for higher education institutions – partners   With a successfully implemented research, both partner higher education institutions will find a strong place in the field of studying architectural typologies and pedagogical characteristics of the physical space of nurseries and schools in Slovenia and also internationally – through lectures and presentations of the findings at international conferences and symposia, which are regularly attended by our researchers.   At a time of a critical attitude toward the era of modernism, i.e. an era when most of the functionally specialised building stock of social significance was built, including public nurseries and schools, there are lively discussions in European and global circles on how to treat this recent, at times technically problematic, heritage. In Slovenia, similar to the practices elsewhere, the attitude is either distinctly negative or, on the other hand, understanding and attentive. It is important to recognise that nowadays we still lack a time distance perspective to these buildings, while actively we are already changing their fate. There is a great possibility that from 2050 onwards the high-quality cases of architecture of public nurseries and schools, with appropriate maintenance and by highlighting their qualities, will be one of the key carriers of national building identity.   The role of both partner higher education institutions in the process of timely valorisation, popularisation, and provision of guidelines for future treatment is a great responsibility, commitment as well as the basic mission of their work in the society.   Significance for cultural development   The national, regional, and landscape culture is composed of tangible and intangible heritage transferred to younger generations through education. The key to national independence is that the transfer of cultural traditions from generation to generation is not disrupted but, on the contrary, it is increased, enriched, and accumulated with each new generation. The role of nurseries and schools, i.e. spaces where through an efficient design and maintenance the tradition is implicitly built-in, must not be neglected in this process.   As an example let us consider the characteristic care that the leading European and American universities dedicate to the architectural quality of buildings where they carry out their work. Through a style format of buildings, exceptional ambition of design, internationality, and other architectural elements they indirectly and non-verbally express the basic values of their educational concepts. In a similar way Slovenia, as an entity, by safeguarding its high-quality architectural and educational environment relates its relationship to this basic task of the society. ... (tekst se nadaljuje…) Nadaljevanje teksta je v prilogi 21_2. Sistem javlja preveliko število znakov, čeprav je v razpisu dovoljenih 12.000.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2016, 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2016, 2018, final report
Views history