Nido Piccolo Kindergarten

Nominated as pilot project in the Federal Government Economic Stimulus Package II.

As part of the German Economic Stimulus Package II in 2009, a much-needed façade renovation was
completed on the Nido Piccolo kindergarten, built in 1983 as part of the Prefabricated Housing system. The challenge was to use the available funds for something more than just thermal insulation and a new coat of paint. Cantilevered window bays for the group spaces were added, which protrude from the insulated façade. They extend the educational space and are used by the children as a recreational and play area, retreat, and stage. The required creation of refuges for birds and bats was also integrated into the design. In the manner of the children’s alcoves, they accent the façade like colorful pixels.

User Participation
The name Nido Piccolo (Italian for “small nest”) was the inspiration for the children‘s drawings which they made in their groups in advance of the renovation of the kindergarten. The idea of a “nest“ inspired the children to think about “being in a tree” and “hiding in a tree.” Eventually, they agreed that they wanted to be in tree houses, which was the start of the design for the colorful new alcoves. Using collages and models of the nest-like window bays, the children were able to empathize with the initial architectural ideas, and they commented, for example, that there should be “lots of sun and shadows in the nest, but sheltered” and “the nest should be colorful: red, pink, bright yellow.”

Project team

Susanne Hofmann, Helmuth Hanle (Project Architect), Daniel Hülseweg, Jens Kärcher


GSE Ingenieur-GmbH (Structural Engineer, Environmental Consultant), BioloGIS (bird expert)


Independent Living GmbH

Costs/Gross floor area

610.000 EUR gross/2698 m²

Work stage

LPH 1-9, Partizipation


Neubrandenburger Straße 53
13059 Berlin Hohenschönhausen

Photographer Jan Bitter