Ubicación: Avenida Ponce de León con esquina Monserrate, Santurce, Puerto Rico.
Autor: Marilaura Guerrero Orellana, Proyecto de fin de carrera – Savannah College of Art and Design – 2011
ARGUABLE POSITION: THE ADDITION OF A NEW ARCHETYPE INTO A NORMATIVE BUILDING WILL ENHANCE AND STIMULATE CHILDREN’S LEARNING PROCESS. TAKING IN CONSIDERATION ALL THREE TYPES OF LEARNERS, SUCH AS THE VISUAL, KINESTHETIC AND AUDITORY, WILL DEFINE THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.
Nowadays, formal education consists of student centered continuous learning experience, teaching and steering by professional teachers. The end of industrial society with the upcoming of post industrialism, and the new context of knowledge societies, evidence that we are approaching a point in history where actual educational approaches to schooling and its classroom physical facilities, have become obsolete.
Educational reforms are limited by the still prevailing industrial school system itself as teaching and learning spaces from another historical period. Long periods of time sitting and listening, where each student is isolated at a desk creates little opportunity for developing the social and communicating skills required for relating to others and for solving problems in the real world.
Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. “Montessori reflected upon the natural behavior of human beings in relation to their environment. She used different definitions of behavioral tendencies on separate occasions, reflecting her primary role as an educational practitioners rather than a psychological theorist. Some of those terms are: exploration, orientation, order, imagination, manipulation, repetition, precision, control of error leading to perfection and communication.
The new archetype is based on a modular skin consisting of hexagons that will change of phases depending on what type of atmosphere needs to be created and what type of learner wants to be stimulated. The normative building and skin are constantly communicating and responding to each other to provide the best space quality.
For example, when the skin is facing the Ponce de Leon Avenue and is dressing the façade of the Gallery Space and Auditorium, it becomes a white operable shading device that controls how much natural light is wanted in the space. In this particular location, the skin behaves as a formal archetype that responds in a subtle way to the site context. On the other hand, when the skin is located in the playground area, but dressing both classrooms façade, it becomes a colorful manually operable skin that behaves as a shading device but also as an interactive toy that children can play with.
The stimulation of kinesthetic learner starts when a pedaling system is added to the bottom of the skin. Every time a child goes to recess, they can lay back on a deck and start pedaling, making the skin (hexagons) open and close. Changing the scale and proportions of the components of the skin will change how children perceive its characteristics and spatial qualities. By incrementing its size, the hexagon becomes a shelter where the kinesthetic and auditory learner are being stimulated. When the child gets inside the hexagon, the auditory learner is stimulated by providing a comfortable space where too much noise can’t get it. When the children start climbing the hexagon the kinesthetic learner is being stimulated by enhancing their motor skills.
The modular skin will also be fixed to walls or roofs when there is no need for it to be operable. Sometimes the skin behaves only as a canopy or sculptural element to announce and celebrate the building or to provide comfort zones with shading.
Marilaura Guerrero Orellana