Playcenter

A design for a elementary public school within a public park

The space in which you learn should have everything to do with how and what you are learning. This project focused on three verbs : learn, play, socialize. Playcenter offers a new pedagogical approach to elementary education. Not only are instructors important to teaching, but the students are encouraged to teach and learn from one another.

The first floor of the building is where the playing and socializing occur. In two similar spaces, butted up against one another, the gymnasium and the lobby/lunchroom/heart of the building are joint, with only a single pane of glass separating. It is important that while some have lunch, students can see others partaking in gym class. Classrooms are situated above, so education is always hovering above.  Omnipresent and always above you, learning is what drives each activity within Playcenter. Because of its site, within a public park, and in order to give square footage back to the park, Playcenter's roof is literally pulling back the earth to allow root top access. In section there is action on the ground floor, the second floor and the roof. Always movement, always learning.

Education is the most essential part of childhood development. Playcenter invites it's students to constantly be curious, continually engage the world around you, and consistently teach yourself and those around you. The more receptive and open students are to absorbing ideologies, the faster our communities can become an open and inclusive society.