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Regard WeGrow School’s Indoor Natural Ecosystem by Bjarke Ingels GroupWednesday 7 November 2018
Regard WeGrow School’s Indoor Natural Ecosystem by Bjarke Ingels Group ⇒ An indoor natural ecosystem in a miniature form has been designed by the renowned architecture firm, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) for the first school of the co-working company WeWork. Officially opened earlier this week, this 10,000 ft2 learning space is comprised of an interactive landscape that becomes the perfect stage for one to educate and nurture one’s development, creativity and social interaction. Now, CovetED explores this unique space that is based in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood and brings new and more exciting educational standards.
The highly functional space will be a great facilitator to expand a child’s knowledge. The landscape emphasises on transparent and communal spaces where the children can walk freely and learn from each other as well. The process of creation and learning is further enhanced by other spaces, such as four classrooms, exciting workshops, a community space, a multi-purpose studio, an art studio and even an art studio.
“This is more of a universe or village than a traditional classroom.” – Rebekah Neumann, founder and CEO of WeGrow.
Bjarke Ingels conceived a concept based in nature, which is actually one of WeGrow’s most valuable principles, in order to intensify WeWork School’s flexible workspace mentality. The children will be able to plant, harvest and even eat fruits and vegetables in a nourishing and organic environment.
“The nature theme is important here because in a city or in conventional architecture, everything is so compartmentalized and the use is very prescribed. Whereas in nature, things have less of a label of how they’re supposed to be used. So they’re more open to interpretation and to multiple uses. You can sit under a tree, climb on a tree, eat from a tree. So the forms you have here still have an intuitive way of accommodating some of their primary uses, but they also have an openness.” – Bjarke Ingels.
Three different shelving levels for each age group curve occasionally to create various activity pockets and give a feeling of comfort, safety and community, while allowing teachers to have a full perspective of the space at all times. Above, acoustic clouds made of felt reflect the different patterns in nature – fingerprint, coral, landscape and moon.
The learning stations are fully furnishings and BIG made sure to select every material used with the maximum detail and care so as to optimise the educational process. Some of the most impressive features are puzzle tables, mushroom shelves, unique chairs by Bendark Studios and even a vertical garden that highlights tiles by Laufen.
Moreover, the WeGrow is illuminated by flexible lighting systems developed by BIG Ideas and manufactured by Artemide. This allows for an ambient, comfortable and more natural lighting effect.
As a whole, BIG designed everything taking into consideration the needs of the children, creating their own little world. At WeWork School, children can benefit from playful felt nooks that allow them to both play and learn. This new playground gives these kids the opportunity to go on a journey of exploration, discovery and introspection.
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