Studies, as well as experience, show that learning space plays an important part in children's education. The experts believe it has the role of the third teacher, which is an important and responsible role. This article stresses the importance of constructed learning space and focuses on physical parameters providing residential comfort – heat comfort, light comfort, acoustic comfort and the air quality of internal spaces. The assessed parameters of comfort have been gaining importance in the last ten years based on numerous studies proving their significance and particularly revealing the negative impact on children’s health and wellbeing, but also their school success and progress. On the long path of education from kindergarten to university, a child spends a significant amount of time in school, therefore the negative potential of constructed environment should not be overlooked. The architect is the designer of the space and therefore has an influence on the quality of the constructed environment in the early stages of planning – the functional design of the building structure has to provide daylight and at the same time prevent the space from overheating, it has to provide acoustic comfort, the selected materials of the building’s envelope and furniture must not emit harmful substances, and the inbuilt technological systems have to provide an adequate temperature regulating and continuous air exchange.
The traditional childcare space and collective learning have been replaced by new innovative pedagogical approaches based on recognising a child as an individual with their own creative potential. This generates changes in facility-design standards, which require bigger surfaces. Facilities need to be flexible and diverse. Apart from architecture and pedagogy, the design of educational facilities also includes experts in the fields of medicine, psychology, landscape architecture, economics, architectural technology.
Modern learning space in preschool should allow children various activities and learning experiences both in the internal and in the external learning space. In the text we first highlight some pedagogues and didacticians who in their discussions also oriented themselves to larning space, and after that two reform pedagogies, the Montessori pedagogy and the Reggio Emilia concept. The text concludes with a presentation of the example of a sensory room in the preschool in Postojna, which represents an innovative approach by incorporating sensory elements into the space and encouraging the active—and for a pre-school child natural—learning by playing. From international and domestic practice of learning communication skills in the internal and external space of the preschol, we highlight some elements of innovative learning approaches that refer to team work of different occupational profiles, to pleasant, comfortable, and aesthetic arrangement of the preschool, to the flowability and the possibility of access to all spaces for various users, to the interconnection of the interior and exterior spaces of the preschool, to cross-disciplinary learning through project work based on diverse materials and involving all senses of children or multisensory learning, and, finally, on documenting the development of children, including through the use of ICT.
The importance of planning quality when it comes to spaces and kindergarten buildings derives from the care of the child, the most sensitive and, to the impulses from the surroundings, the most perceptible member of society. The impact of the surroundings on shaping the child's personality consequently influences the cultural, social and environmental development of individual generations. Kindergartens in Slovenia were created during different time periods and are a product of the various social systems as well as the norms and regulations. In order to properly assess the quality of childcare, the quality of the alreadyconstructed buildings and premises must be assessed, since they are also one of the three basic conditions for the establishment and functioning of the kindergarten. The article outlines the importance of registering kindergarten buildings, which represents the first step in the recognition of the current situation regarding the state of the kindergarten buildings in Slovenia. The registration was carried out as part of a wider research (CRP 2016–2019, Analysis of the situation in the field of architecture for public kindergartens and schools in Slovenia – registering, evaluating and protecting examples of quality (sustainable) architectural practices). The purpose of the registration is to identify the quality kindergarten buildings in Slovenia, the setting up of security mechanisms and the establishment of interdisciplinary criteria for an evaluation. The criteria for the quality evaluation are the basis for the implementation of new guidelines for the design and construction of kindergartens in Slovenia.
The building fund for elementary schools in Slovenia, which includes primary schools and branches, is extensive and diverse. In order to create an overview of the fund and the buildings compared to each other, the basic data about the main characteristics of all the buildings from publicly accessible databases have been provided. Data on the number of departments and floors, the location of the space and the year of construction were highlighted as being key. It is possible to define architecturally important and anonymous buildings from the information in publications of the professional press, the recipients of the professional awards and from the inclusion on the list of cultural heritage. On this basis, the categorization of buildings and a quantitative analysis were carried out. From a detailed overview of the regulations governing the design and construction of schools in Slovenia in the course of history and a comparison of the spatial parameters for basic spatial units and program blocks determined by the regulations, we can conclude that the basic spatial needs of the school did not change significantly over the various periods. Also, an isolated classroom remains the basic spatial unit of the school building for all periods, which also determines the framework of the educational activity. Thus, buildings from different periods, with some functional additions (gymnasiums, dining rooms, multipurpose halls), could remain in use over time. The latest forms of pedagogical work supported by information and communication technology bring innovations in the design of the school space, which require changes in the established normative requirements.