TERRACOTTA project
Cheeky Munchkins Club Boulevard Des Moulins

The children's club on Boulevard Des Moulins in the center of Monaco is the second "home" for Munchkins Club Monte Carlo. A couple of years ago we developed a small Montessori area for the previous location of the club. This year the club was moving to a new space and we were hired to do its full design.

 

The area of 500 sq. m. is located in a historic building. When we first got to the facility, the BO Concept furniture showroom had just moved out, leaving us a legacy of many false walls that "covered" the windows, and large sections of the granite floor. The ceilings also did not please with their height - only 2.6 meters.
Of course, there were also advantages – a spacious terrace of 70 sq.m., where we arranged a playground for walking and playing in the fresh air, and two large balconies, which became part of a cozy cafe for parents.

An interesting fact - the club is located on the ground floor and has its own entrance from the street, as is necessary for licensing a kindergarten, but due to the fact that the city is located on a mountain, the reverse side of the space, just where the terrace and balconies are located, turns out to be on the 5th floor

Managers: Kirill and Elena Cheburashkin
Working group: Ekaterina Kalugina, Valery Zaslavsky, Anna Bezrukova, Nikolai and Anatoly Cheburashkin, Nicholai Greznev and Ksenia Evstigneeva
Monaco, Monte Carlo 2019

The task was quite difficult - the Club has existed for many years and it was necessary to take into account all the furniture and equipment that will move to a new location. The former space was larger both in area and in ceiling height, and the same number of functional areas had to be preserved. All the individual products made by us earlier had to be entered into a completely different space in terms of dimensions and geometry.

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1. Reception; 2. Bar; 3. Cooking class; 4. Cafe; 5. Balcony; 6. Large playground; 7. Terrace; 8. Art class; 9. Teen zone; 10. Utility room;

11. Office; 12. Sensory room; 13. Montessori area; 14. WC; 15. Sports area; 16. Showcase

Part of the floor in the reception area is interactive. With the help of a special projector, images on the floor come to life and interact with children.
So while parents are busy with boring adult things, such as paperwork, the little residents of the club are bursting bubbles, going through mazes, learning traffic rules and much more

Interactive game "Photorobot"

One more cool thing in the entrance area is our interactive game "Photorobot", so loved by visitors of the previous location of the club.

​The task of the game is to assemble a single image from the parts applied to the rotating cylinders. Despite the complex engineering construction inside the cylinders - the game looks very simple and is absolutely safe, small users can't touch the wheels and bearings.

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Munchkins club is an international organization and children of all nationalities come here, so our Illustrator Valeria Zaslavskaya tried not to forget anyone and drew all the nations and even the club's signature character - the gnome :)

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Cooking class

The Club hosts cool cooking classes, this is one of the favorite activities of young residents! Here, in a fun and exciting way, children conduct their first culinary experiments. Gathering at a large table with friends, time passes unnoticed, and cooking your favorite biscuits, muesli or cupcakes does not seem like a difficult task at all

For classes, we have provided a large round table; a board for drawings and recipes - in our case, this is a craft roll; a large refrigerator for groceries; a small kitchen and a sink at a "child's height", "to quickly wash off flour, dough and other stuff :)

In this project, we used a lot of the "talking interior" technique that we liked. All kinds of slogans, letters, signs with signatures, located on the walls and even hanging from the ceiling, found a place in almost every room of the club. Thanks to them, the space literally comes to life and communicates with visitors

Next to the cooking class there is a cozy cafe with a bright bar, tables and a balcony, where parents can spend time reading and having a cup of coffee, chat, or work while the children are studying or playing

Big playground

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Our special pride is the sports and entertainment complex in the main playing area. It all started with the fact that we needed to come up with a new place for a tree house designed for the previous space of the club. One tree has turned into a whole magical forest! There are two slides into the pool with balls, a slide with speleo elements, a vertical maze with several routes for different ages, a staircase that can be used by parents, a playhouse under the slide and a circular route around the complex

Of course, we could not leave our magical forest without incredibly "touching" birds in the literal and figurative sense - the length of their legs can be changed, and everyone who passes by, surely does it!

The playground is located not only indoors, but also outside. On the terrace there is an outdoor playground with a climbing wall, a mini-vegetable garden for growing herbs and vegetables, and a large free space for active games or jogging

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Art class

Directly from the playground, bypassing a large knitted maze, we get into the most creative space of the club - an Art class. The heart and main accent of this place, of course, was the bright wall in the sink area. It is decorated with unusual tiles with drawings of the residents of the club applied to it

Next to the Art class there is a Teen-zone for older children with an air hockey, a big for meetings and a large toy storage cabinet equipped with interactive panels

With interiors for children, everything is a little different than with adults. Here, in addition to special ergonomics and safety, you almost always need a common legend, the presence of an artistic image. The famous Formula 1 track in Monte Carlo has become our inspiration. We have not filled the interior with red Formula cars and a black-and–white checker, but paved a yellow road through the entire space - it starts in the reception area, passes through a cafe for parents and a cooking class, turns into a game room, branches out in an art class and a zone for teenagers and ends in a Montessori zone.

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Montessori playroom

The main rule of the space where children are taught according to the Montessori system is that all games, equipment and all space should be available for independent study by the child.

This area is full of all kinds of interactive wall panels, a mirror for the first steps; low shelves for Montessori materials and games. For mobile kids, we have provided several balancers, different in complexity and function. On the wall is a large map of the world, located in such a way that even the toddlers can reach it

There is also a small classroom designed for 12 children. We used our famous growing and stackable Teddy and Eddy tables and chairs as furniture for classes. The end wall is occupied by an educational game "Memory" and a slate for teachers and students - pockets for storing chalk are located at different heights for all growth groups

Everyone has played the board game "Memory" at least once in their lives - cards are scattered face down on the table, each card has a picture on the front side, each picture has its own pair. The task is to turn over two cards per turn, gradually remembering where which picture is to turn over two identical ones.

We wanted to make sure that this game could be played by as many people of all ages as possible and that it would be interesting to watch, even for a small baby. And we did! - wall game "Memory" with rotary signs, to which, with the help of special clips, you can attach images on any subject!

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Sensory room

Now many kindergartens have sensory rooms, usually, they are combined with the psychologist's office or attached to them. The sensory room is a place where a child learns about themselves and the world around them through the senses - seeing, hearing, touch, and sense of smell. Many people mistakenly believe that such spaces are only necessary for children with disabilities, but in fact, sensory rooms are not only a method of treatment but also a way of relaxation and a place for developing classes. This space helps to control anxiety or nervous overexcitation and just feel safe and protected.

Touch and interactive panels are installed around the entire perimeter of the room, with them you can experience completely different tactile sensations. There are sandpapers of different calibers, gloves with buckwheat and beans, finger mazes, where at the beginning is a cold metal, and at the end of the way - soft felt, fur, grass, sequins, brass and much more. Floor panels are mobile, they allow you to use not only the receptors on the palms but also on the feet (you can only enter the sensory room in socks).

Thanks to the mirror above the large sand drawing table, you can create symmetrical drawings on it twice as fast

The hugging machine

This machine was first developed by Temple Grandin - the most famous woman with autism, a Professor at the State University of Colorado. That machine looked like a torture machine, but it worked well - it allowed autistic people to get the hugs they needed but couldn't get from people.

Together with our student and author of the project, Anna Bezrukova, we improved the design and aestheticized the product itself. Three rows of tightly hugging rollers with different tactile properties-soft fabric; sliding raincoat and fluffy fur now work tirelessly for the young users of the club!

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Sports area

For the comprehensive development of young visitors of the club, we have designed a universal area for sports and other activities. The area is equipped with a mirror wall with a barre, a basketball hoop, several types of climbing- and speleo- elements

The speleo wall deserves special attention. This is our original development, consisting of several plywood segments, which also serve as speleo elements.

For an additional incentive and a competitive moment, we hung a bell and two soft squeakers at the top of the wall. So the club regularly hosts competitions in high-speed climbing on the wall and the loudest squeak of the squeaker :)

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WC

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Showcase

The club is located on one of the main streets of Monaco with a large passability of people, so we were faced with the task of decorating both showcases so that they actively attract visitors inside. Together with the head of the SHALIDESIGN  studio Lilia Makarova, we've developed two kinetic showcases, the main characters of which were branded characters - gnomes.

In the first showcase, we placed a rotating wheel with all the sights of Monaco, past which our characters "pass", and in the second, an airship with a spinning propeller hovers

For each of the important holidays for the Kingdom, Knowledge Day, Halloween, New Year and Christmas, Easter, Formula 1 races, Tennis tournament, Circus Festival, showcases are transformed, and the outfits of the characters change