The ongoing pandemic has disrupted the daily routines of billions of people around the world who, confined to their homes, have seen the separation between work and rest become extremely blurred. We have been forced to rethink and reconfigure the layout of our personal spaces.
Discussions have abounded on how to create flexible workspaces in a home environment, and we have questioned whether the offices themselves are an outdated model that we should leave behind.
Let’s not leave out an important part of that conversation: the impact the pandemic has had on children, specifically at the primary level, on their education. Inequalities have been accentuated: some children learning with slow Internet connection speeds, or struggling to have the necessary space to properly carry out educational activities.
Given that primary schools play a fundamental role in the social and emotional development of children, and as a fundamental axis of the consequent development of society, we must not overlook that the design of their interior spaces is as important as the design of the exterior, since most of the time is spent learning inside the building.
When architects, in a post-pandemic world, start designing primary education buildings, due attention must be paid to the interior design of educational spaces, which have a psychological impact on the way the child learns.
What can make an educational space quiet, welcoming and dynamic?
1- Close to nature
Studies show that incorporating plants into the classroom improves high school students’ grades and makes students and staff feel more comfortable, regardless of their age. One way to achieve this proximity is to have vegetation interspersed throughout the campus, providing a welcome presence of nature amidst the building’s interior design.
In addition, having furniture adapted for outdoor classes
is a key aspect of creating these synergies. You can find out more in this article link to a post about z-tool
2- Natural light
A Pattern Language, the seminal book by UC Berkeley professor emeritus of Architecture Christopher Alexander, mentions the fact that low levels of light in classrooms affect students’ ability to regulate the body’s natural cycle of sleep and excitement.
The Community Primary School for Girls in Keheme, Sierra Leone, designed by Orkidstudio, achieves this with the presence of large openings in the wall along with the presence of a raised ceiling which, apart from providing ventilation, also allows the classrooms to be illuminated and welcoming spaces.
3 – Flexibility
As with coworking spaces, students also benefit from the open and fluid layout of classrooms. The ability to move furniture and create spaces that adapt to different types of learning provides a flexible environment that adapts to the needs of different students at different times.
The tables designed for cooperative work, movable, easy to store and that allow you to set up and dismantle workgroups are the paradigm of flexibility that the new dynamics require.