“...the value of this project is best measured by the success of its interior space at the scale of its users - little people with curious minds...”
According to Reggio Amelia principles, a school’s environment is one of the fundamental drivers of early childhood learning. Central to the design brief written by Lippmann Partnership for the MLC School, was an environment where children staff and parents engage with their surroundings and are stimulated by it. With that in mind, all aspects of the interior were designed to provide a “sensory rich” experience. The large and flexible learning “studios” face north, the smaller service spaces to the south with the circulation spine or “street” running in between. A central “piazza” creates a sense of community for children, parents and teachers and the interior learning areas are the most revealing. The learning studios are designed to encourage rearrangement of desks and chairs for differing formats based on the desires and creativity of its users. Children are encouraged to arrange space to suit their own requirements. There are no barriers to restrict activities. Instead, acoustically treated operable walls made of glass and/or fabrics permit multiple format and scales of teaching spaces. Children are encouraged to learn in a collaborative way so smaller intimate groups or teams are accommodated in “group learning” spaces. As with larger studios, these spaces are adjustable and versatile. A variety of bright colours, textures and surfaces were introduced to create a dynamic and stimulating environment where learning can be encouraged by teachers and enjoyed by children.