Active learning takes on a new meaning with an interior inspired by the hiking, biking and rock climbing culture of Boulder, Colorado. Vertical planes within the space simulate mountain silhouettes, and specified materials are used as abstract representations of sedimentary rock formations and ground foliage. The entire space encourages movement and play with sit-to-stand furniture and an open flow of space types.
Rooms provide a number of nooks for reclusion and also open floor for spatial relief. Respect for the environment is taught through biophilic forms and hands-on classroom gardens. Kindergarteners become “citizens of their community” on both a local level and an ecosystem level.
The project brief called for application of the Living Building Challenge in material selection and design decisions. The Diagram below highlights the key “petals” from the Living Building Challenge Certification literature which are applied in the primary school design.
The undulating felt canopy that greets visitors on the first floor continues into the Library space to create a sense of compression and release. The cool hues and sound-absorbing material compose a calm, low-stimulation space for reading and relaxing.
The mountain-inspired forms from the canopy wrap down along one wall to form soft bench seating.
FilzFelt window treatments diffuse sunlight much like the leaves of a tree canopy. Covering the windows in classrooms and the quiet reading room reduces outdoor distractions and creates a low-stimuli environment.
Paintings by local Boulder, CO artist, Stanislav Sidorov depict the vibrant, yellow canopies of aspen trees and pops of color in the foothills.