Educational Garden

"Students observe first all of the objects in the classroom, observing and naming everything. When this is exhausted, they are taken into the garden, into the fields, and woods - where they are led to notice objects in greater detail" J.H. Pestalozzi, qouted in J.A. Green 'The educational ideas of Pestalozzi', New York, 1969
Project Multifunctional Accommodation Almere Haven
Client Mevrouw Meijer Foundation
Collaborator Txell Blanco Diaz
Advisor Jacques Abelman
Study 2011

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Besides a school-building, the Educational Garden contains a kindergarten, playing fields, a neighbourhood centre, a school garden and a sports hall. Pavilions, each containing a few classrooms, are positioned along a spiralling shell path in such a way that the youngest children are most protected in the centre. The other functions are also situated in garden pavilions, indicating the importance of the outdoor space in this scheme. The garden reinforces the education and offers a rich variety of spatial, physical and sensorial experiences. In the kitchen of the neighbourhood centre the children will prepare a soup made out of vegetables that they have grown in the school garden. The design is inspired by the traditional Dutch Garden, representing a production landscape, where the traces of fields, flowerbeds and orchards come together. It is a farm with plants, animals, barns, stables, fences, hedges and a ditch that encircles the garden. Also for grown-ups, the Educational Garden offers a variety of experiences. Sunlight, shadows, images, smells, sounds and tactile experiences are crucial here. Merging the school in the garden is not a loss, but a wonderful gain.