Freelance architect Carsten Karnowski won a competition organised by ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, to design the kindergarten. He says he found the idea of combining a cold, hard material like steel with the liveliness and fragility of children and their needs “very exciting”. 

Shade of metallic red, green and blue shades, supplemented by a “gentle grey”, alternate along the outer shell of the single-storey kindergarten buildings. The combination of paint and light surface structure generates a high-quality appeal that varies depending on the fall of light and viewing angle, explains Thorsten Holtermann, from ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe’s corporate architecture/colour department, “creating a lively, changing and yet still understated colour effect”. 

An architect by training, Holtermann has been working for ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe’s corporate architecture/colour department for more than six years. “The kindergarten building project was an interesting, exciting and at the same time entirely new challenge,” he explains. “The application as a place for children to play and rest, combined with the associated requirements, cannot be compared to projects that our company has previously undertaken.” With this project, he adds, “what is happening on the inside should also be visible on the outside – i.e. play, fun and liveliness”. 

Consequently, the playful, light and high-quality envelope is more than just eye-catching, as it provides an important “high level of recognition” and wayfaring guidance for the children. “And not only do the colours increase the level of enjoyment and well-being amongst the little ones,” says kindergarten teacher Sandra Werner, “but they also encourage creativity.” 

Alongside aesthetics, the quality of the façade and the strip-coated starting material was central, says Holtermann. “The rolling and finishing department, which develops and produces ReflectionsPearl® at the company’s Siegerland site, uses a combination of high-quality backing material and the best coatings.” 

To ensure the highest corrosion protection, explains Dr Andreas Meschede, who was involved in developing ReflectionsPearl®, “we use ZM EcoProtect as the substrate, with an increased zinc-magnesium coating of 160 grams per square metre.” Fluoro- polymers are used as coating substances, “to ensure the best resistance to weather and low dirt absorption”. As a result, he adds, “the colours will continue to shine for a long time, and their original beauty will be sustained”.

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