Changing the education to change the city (II) | Stepienybarno

Escuela Montessori, Delf, Herman Hertzberger, 1960
Montessori School, Delf, Herman Hertzberger, 1960

In the previous post we were trying to give a brief revision of the most important milestones that we were finding on having thrown a look behind in the exciting world of the architecture and the education. In the above mentioned text we us were walking along almost all the 20th century up to coming an eighties and it is there where today we want to gather the witness and to try to stand firm at present. For it, we will throw a look to what it happens in developing countries of whom, undoubtedly, we can learn very much. In turn, to understand the school as one of the principal public spaces and the importance of the educational as great main building, in yes same, they look like to us nice topics on which to penetrate.

The original idea was to finish the article put squarely into what is the expanded education and the edupunk, but, seen that was getting longer us too much, we have decided to leave this exciting topic for a third delivery.

So, if you encourage, we would be been charmed with of that you were accompanying us in the above mentioned trip.

Escuela en Bangladesh _ Obra de Anna Heringer
School in Bangladesh _ Anna Heringer´s work

Good is known, one of the most interesting aspects of the educational architecture is to verify how certain “ambiguities” contribute much more to the project that a series of spaces of fixed dimensions and inflexible programs. The relation with the exterior, to be out but with the sensation of being inside and vice versa or the correct study of the natural lighting are architectural mechanisms that do not go out in the regulations, and that, from a quantitative point of view, are very difficult to evaluate. In fact, since almost always it happens in the architecture, the most important thing is not that one that can measure and rule but the qualitative aspects of the projects.

For it, we want to rescue some interventions that do of the lack of definition of the collective space of the schools one of the most powerful weapon of his architecture. In turn, this attitude at the moment of projecting goes of the hand of current educational systems that inherit the better of methods as Montessori and Waldorf and that the architecture cannot leave of side but it has to turn into a faithful translator of ideas and pedagogic thoughts.

Equally interesting they us turn out to be those buildings in that what makes a detour to the own architecture is so important as she and, in fact, in many cases it is what does that really humble but intense works turn into big architectural projects.

So, if it seems to you, we go with the first project that we bring today we put on the board.

If we move up to Bangladesh we can meet the school that Anna Heringer projected to give response to the needs of the smallest. In this occasion the spirit of community meets reaffirmed and consolidated from the same construction of the building since in him the members of the community take part.

Of this form, the identity of a people meets consolidated, and the feeling of belonging acrecenta on having been increasing the pride of to be known participants of the construction of the building that will extract of the illiteracy the children of those who are constructing it. The autoconstruction turns into the best explosive one of the capture of conscience of the feeling community.

Equally interesting it looks like to us the careful use of which it is done of the local materials, as well as of the technologies of local construction.

Ampliación de escuela en Dano _ Obra de Diébédo Francis Kéré
Extension of school in Dano _ Diébédo Francis Kéré´s work

And we could not speak about Heringer without another architect brought to the first plane with the one that seems to change color in his thought, speech and work: Diébédo Francis Kéré. This young person and enthusiast architect, original of Burkina Faso, has a work very compromised socially, in that stands out the good managing of the shortage of economic means, the respect for the tradition and the employment of social workforce. In turn, it is necessary to emphasize that Keré grew in a small settlement of the capital together with other twelve brothers in the most absolute of the miseries.

Even this way, his father got involved that was to the school and for what we see the today architect did not lose the time. He was the first inhabitant of the settlement in overcoming the illiteracy and with the time, once finished his studies as carpenter, had the opportunity to study architecture in Berlin where it managed to create the association “Schulbausteine für Gando” “Bricks for the school in Gando”) with the help of his companions of promotion. From her, they obtained funds to raise the first school in his natal settlement and from the year 2004 he has been still compromised with his roots helping hundreds of children to have an opportunity in the life, unthinkable a few years behind.

Another project that seems to us to be, specially, suggestive is the infant school of the Italian architect Giovanni D’Ambrosio in Kerobokan, Bali. Again, the shortage of local resources a hándicap does not suppose for the project but rather the whole challenge. With a few very contained materials and no formal excess the project is generated concerning the great one “girder – flower-pot stand” in that his roots incrust the climbing plants that slip to 40 centimeters of the cover. Of this form, the vegetation is giving shade to the metallic sheet and shelters one more than necessary constant draught that does that the interior environment does not warm up in excess.

In turn, the school encloses in his interior a small garden with plants autochthonous that does that the pupils turn into his only and happy keepers. This way, the children like farmers and the architecture related with the nature form a perfect tandem in order that the wisdom and the game are always present in the school.

Jardín de infancia en Kerobokan, Bali _ Obra de Giovanni D’Ambrosio
Infant school in Kerobokan, Bali _ Giovanni D’Ambrosio’s Work

And after this tour for countries in situations of extreme vulnerability, we return to west and reach Rivas Vaciamadrid. The project of the agency of Madrid of architecture Ecosistema Urbano, it arises with the double challenge of turning, on the one hand, “into a source of learning for the citizens, pupil into the energetic saving and the optimization of the natural resources” and, for other one, of managing to be a real place of interaction social.e Giovanni D’Ambrosio

Rivas Vaciamadrid _ Obra de Ecosistema Urbano
Rivas Vaciamadrid _Ecosistema Urbano´s work

To finish this small architectural – educational trip, we will do it of the hand of the Swiss architects Rosan Bosch and his not conventional at all school Vittra in Stockholm. In her they take to the end the dynamization of the corridors, halls or corridors, making them lose his habitual condition of step and transition, to turn them into places of stay where to play learning and to learn playing.

Of this form, the opened and flexible space returns to gain the battle to the spaces closed and doomed to the only function. In turn, inside these collective places other spaces appear with a more intimate and introverted character but that are obtained by subtle manipulations of the general space and not by the habitual compartimentación of the same one. Equally, the differences, amphitheatres and innumerable niches and turns turn into perfect scenes that the children make his with extreme facility.

Escuela Vittra _ Obra de Rosan Bosch
Vittra School _ Rosan Bosch´s work

In end, we wait that this small analysis of works of educational architecture, from the point of view of the community thing and the appropriation of the spaces of an alternative way it has been of your pleasure and, since always, we will be been charmed with of receiving your comments in the matter.

Stepienybarno_Agnieszka Stepien and Lorenzo Barnó, architects
Estella, August 2017

Article published originally in the Platform of La Ciudad Viva.


Stepienybarno está formado por Agnieszka Stepien y Lorenzo Barnó, ambos arquitectos y formados en temas de Identidad Digital y Comunicación online. Desde el 2004 tenemos nuestro propio estudio de arquitectura, ubicado en un pequeño pueblo de Navarra, Estella, y ambos estamos embarcados en nuestras tesis doctorales. A su vez, colaboramos con otros profesionales tanto del ámbito de la arquitectura, sostenibilidad y comunicación online. Vivir en Estella nos da la tranquilidad necesaria para poder encarar el día a día con energía y la red nos posibilita contactar con un mundo maravilloso que de otra forma hubiera sido imposible.

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