Built around courtyards for play, a school continues to be a place for pupils to read and engage. A school is an architectural environment for education and growth. The “Louis de Vion” school complex, designed by Vincent Parreira Atelier Architecture, is spatially organized around courtyard play spaces.
Pupils of the nursery school enjoy play in a life-size graphical garden with trees and obstacles. The rectangular play yard is surrounded y a shaded perambulatory perimeter. Safety and prevention are supported architecturally by windows around the yard’s edge.
Contemporary outdoor play spaces exhibit a variegated ground plane that naturally influences the movement of children during recess. Like bumble bees in nature, children locomote with distinctive patterns. During the more energetic daylight hours, we can observe how small creatures respond playfully to the attractiveness of color and pattern.
A learning tool could be as small as a toy, as large as a building, or as deep as a city. University graduates may recall the modern priority of leisure and recreation. The social motivation of free time is possibly addressed where design and function are ordered around play, recreation, sport or leisure.
The school campus is composed of building volumes that appear smoothly plain & white or crated by wood latticework. The wood pattern directs a recognizable motif throughout the architecture. The diamond shapes are repeated in sculptural relief with deep shadows and proportioned for a protruding shade trellis.
The architecture imprints an identity for place by employing principles of design. The dense functional program includes the separation of nursery school, primary school, and after school areas. The architectural unity of the school complex is connected by circulatory elements throughout two levels and between interior and exterior spaces.
The primary school grounds feature an array of tree saplings adjacent to a play court for competitive team sportsmanship. The manners and traits of passive solar design are evident on the sun-bathed façade that overlooks the outdoor sports area.
School grounds are an early architectural experience for children who are learning normal patterns and lessons. Spatial program and organization of these places may become a reference in their future, when they integrate into urban structures and systems.
Suburban peripheries can be the limit between our constructed ecosystem and wafted grassland, where growth boundaries of new urban areas are found. These are places we can physically stand and look at the brink when an economic concept, like an invisible hand, makes habitable space emerge from the simplest grassland. Schools and play spaces are a necessary and calculated part of urban growth.
Written by CPG