The Kensington Learning Space

Looking for early education environment & architecture inspiration? In this article, we’ll look at this project to see how it aligns with early education philosophy, how the design facilitates learning, the activities that would suit these spaces and we’ll look at how you can use elements of the design as inspiration for your own service.

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Brief Overview of the Project

The Kensington Learning Space, located in a suburban area of Bangkok, introduces a fresh concept for children’s learning environments. It seamlessly integrates learning, playing, and natural spaces. Despite its location in a rather unremarkable area, the design of the space creates its own unique atmosphere.

Alignment with Montessori, Steiner, or Reggio Principles

The Kensington Learning Space embodies principles that resonate with Montessori, Steiner, and Reggio approaches. These principles emphasize natural light, greenery, and a connection to nature, all of which are evident in the design. The classrooms are designed to bring nature close, allowing children to learn amidst trees. Such an environment fosters self-directed, experiential learning, and holistic development, which are core to these educational philosophies.

Design Facilitating Learning

The space is meticulously designed to stimulate children’s curiosity and encourage knowledge acquisition. The building’s ribbon-like continuous plane, which curls from the floor to the roof, transforms the architecture into a massive play frame, beckoning children to explore its interiors. Inside, diverse spaces cater to various functions. For instance, the semi-outdoor space beneath the gym houses a swimming pool, offering children an adventurous, cave-like experience. The column-free design of the gym provides a flexible, free-style play area. Moreover, the building’s unique spaces, such as the sloping plane with a slider and the net tree, enhance children’s learning skills by offering varied sensory experiences.

Supporting Teachers in Crafting Inspiring Lessons

The design’s versatility offers teachers a plethora of opportunities to craft engaging lessons. The varied room dimensions and the natural ambience can inspire lessons that merge academic learning with real-world experiences. The building’s unique features, like the ribbon that folds from the floor to the ceiling, can be used to teach concepts of geometry, physics, or even art. The proximity to nature can be leveraged for lessons in biology, environmental science, and more.

Activities and Lessons Suited for the Space

  1. Nature Studies: Given the close connection to nature, lessons on plant biology, ecosystems, and environmental conservation would be apt.
  2. Physical Education: The gym and swimming pool areas can host various physical activities, from traditional sports to yoga and dance.
  3. Art and Craft: Drawing inspiration from the building’s architecture and the surrounding greenery, art lessons can be both instructional and exploratory.
  4. Drama and Performances: The assembly hall, designed for children’s performances and parent meetings, is ideal for theatrical activities and storytelling sessions.
  5. Sensory Exploration: The varied textures and spaces, like the hide and seek area or the net tree, can be used for sensory exploration activities.

Incorporating Elements of the Design in Other Kindergarten Environments

Teachers and planners looking to infuse elements of The Kensington Learning Space into their kindergartens can consider the following:

  1. Nature Integration: Even if space is limited, introducing potted plants, vertical gardens, or small water features can bring nature closer to children.
  2. Flexible Spaces: Design areas that can serve multiple purposes, such as a reading corner that can transform into a mini-theater.
  3. Sensory Elements: Incorporate varied textures, colors, and materials in the design to stimulate children’s senses.
  4. Open Design: Wherever possible, opt for column-free spaces to allow for free movement and flexible activity planning.

In conclusion, The Kensington Learning Space is a testament to how architectural design can profoundly influence and enhance the learning experience. Its thoughtful integration of play, learning, and nature offers a holistic environment for children’s growth and development.

Location

Thailand

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