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The Outdoor Classroom an Activity Based Learning by Tushar Kothawade

By admin / Published on Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019 15:14 PM / Comments Off on The Outdoor Classroom an Activity Based Learning by Tushar Kothawade / 136 views

The Outdoor Classroom an Activity Based Learning by Tushar Kothawade

The client approached the architects with the requirement to design a pre-primary school for about 80-100 students on a site, which was a part of a commercial building abutting a large residential colony. The client was already having two operational schools, which gave them a very clear brief for this new addition. They wanted a school that will stand out from the other pre-primary schools in the vicinity so that the number of admissions increases. Maximum utilisation of the space available across three floors and having child-friendly premises was their prime requirement.

The Outdoor Classroom an Activity Based Learning by Tushar Kothawade
The Outdoor Classroom an Activity Based Learning by Tushar Kothawade

Initial Thoughts:
One of the first challenges was to deal with a total area of 3000 sq ft spread across three levels. Secondly, out of this total area, covered space was just 50%. During the initial discussions with the client, they attempted to understand the new ways of teaching and conducting classes. The architects also visited other similar schools in the vicinity and they found out that a very radicle system of conducting classes has evolved over the years. It is not only about lessons taught in the class but also about activity-based learning.

They also noticed that most schools catering to this age group between 2-5 years were very similar in terms of look and feel and space aesthetics. Another important aspect that we explored was to understand the behavioural pattern of kids around us. At the age group that we were looking at, we realized that confining them in four walls of a classroom for a long time is not an idealistic scenario. Their energies have to be left free so that learning happens as a part of their natural growing process.

This was our cue for design development. The architects decided to create a space that offers opportunities to learn and grow, not only in confined classes but also outside. Idea was to create an environment for a kid to absorb, explore and learn right from the point he/she enters the school premises. Thus evolved ‘The Open Classroom’.

Design Deliberations:
Material palette & overall design vocabulary was derived to be more earthen so that a human connect is achieved. Bamboo, ‘kavdi’ flooring, cement boards and agro wood helped in defining aesthetics.

Customised graphics, minute detailing & child-centric approach formed the backbone of our designs. Splashes of colour are strategically used to highlight certain aspects of design. Play of shadows cast by various pergolas helped in creating interesting visuals, which keep changing as the day progresses. The designs revolved around natural ventilation, multi-functional furniture and visual connection between spaces. Moreover, the entire project focuses on creating opportunities for kids to keep learning and exploring thru’ out the day. All spaces are multifunctional, have kids’ centric graphics, blackboards for them to draw, pin-up panels for them to display and elements inbuilt for them to sit, read and play which eventually will help they grow happily…!!

Fact File:
Project Name: The Outdoor Classroom
Typology: Pre-Primary School
Location: Thergaon, Pune
Area: Approx. 3,000 sq.ft. (Across 3 floors)
Photo Credits: Atul Kanetkar

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