2019 Competition Entry
Sensory Education, A Journey Through the Senses- Early childhood is an incredibly important developmental stage that is filled with many of a child's first sensorial experiences. Children learn through these sensory experiences evident in psychoanalytical understandings of the various phases children undergo. These experiences ultimately allow a child to understand his/her relationship to the space they inhabit. Through exploring and navigating the world around them, the child learns through seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, tasting and playing. Through the act of sensory play, a child can develop motor skills and neural sensitivities crucial to their lives. This is even more important in cases of varied disability, where other senses develop more strongly to orient and situate the body in space.
Preschool offers an opportunity to present and play with the sensorial in a safe environment that allows children to develop these experiences together.
Beyond the value of education in its conventional sense, preschool provides one of the first encounters with community. The act of playing together forms the basis for relationships the child with encounter in life so it is important that all children can cultivate these communities at a young age.
In a society that generally favors vision, limiting the creative potential of our learning experience, and rarely considered the experience of someone with disabilities, 'Sensory Education' proposes a community environment where all senses are cultivated, allowing all children, no matter what their disability, to have an engaged experience with it.
Curved and undulating brick walls provide a tactile exploration for journey to the classroom. An elliptical whispering wall provides a playful moment of auditory exchange. The outdoor kitchen, situated next to the main oculus space cultivates the child's smell and taste. An outdoor vegetable garden does this further and invites children to feel and see the growth of the plants and fruit trees. Windows at varied eye levels, and openings in the brick walls invite a sense of curiosity. The implementation of accessible design that engages with all senses fosters inclusivity.
The construction of the school responds to the vernacular architecture of Mozambique and follows the natural slope of the site, providing a central heart and step free access. It uses simple construction techniques, with locally sourced materials, making the project economical, while also proposing solar panel installations on the roof as well as rainwater collection. These design decisions produce a community environment that promotes sustainability, accessibility and education through all of the senses.
Bee Breeders International Competition