Project / Sunflower Creative Arts
Size: 12.000 SF
Location: Palm Beach, Florida
Status: In progress
The architecture of the school explores that notion that creative learning spaces should not be contained/limited by fixed boundaries but should be more subtley defined by elements within the space allowing for transparency and flexibity. The ideal situation would be that the use of the space is not pre-determined by the architecture, but rather open to be Infomed by the creativety of the user.The program is accomodated under a continuous roof structure that encircles an area of the forest, providing a large protected courtyard / nature playscape. The building aims to be emersed in nature. Dissolving the boundaries of what is indoor and outdoor it allows children to live closer to nature, essentially nuturing their respect for nature and the environment.
The program is distributed into 3 main zones; classrooms / reception / theatre, although all are connected by the courtyard spaces and the continuous circulation gallery at the perimeter of the courtyard. The porosity of the building allows for a complex network of pathways that connect spaces.
There are no walls containing/limiting spaces. Instead spaces are defined by flexible furniture and partitions. This allows spaces and programs to flow into one another as desired. Classrooms are directly connected to semi-external playscapes allowing the playscape to be absorbed into the learning environment.
The reception area operates similarly in that there are no walls, but rather partitions and furniture defiining zones. This strategy aims to maintain transparency and communications between staff and users. Openess and transparency of the architecture conveys the values of the community it accomodates.
The large overhang that creates the circulation gallery also provides shade from intense summer sun. Operable doors on both sides of classroom allow for cross ventilation to cool spaces and minimise reliance on air conditioning systems.