Bennerghatta Road, Bangalore
Nestled in the calm, serene surroundings of the Green Belt of Bangalore is a cluster of verdant courts that forms Greenwood High. Designed and built on a naturally contoured site moulded to blend in learning spaces, the school is split into two levels. One level houses the younger kids in close proximity to the administrative building and the other level forms the higher classes. The space in between these two sets of buildings is where the synergy happens. The intervening space between them forms the Cafeteria and the Auditorium and the QUAD with balconies and corridors that connect at every step visually and spatially. The classrooms lead on to the Sports Complex designed to international standards, housing multiple courts, swimming pool and a green football pitch. All of the spaces are connected by one design language that sweeps through the landscape of the school, which in itself speaks to nature.
THE CHILD AND THE CLASSROOM
Young children learn by doing and actively engaging with materials, equipment, and people in their learning environment. Creating physical space that recognizes the developmental needs of five year olds provides a context in which optimal learning occurs. The selection and organization of classroom materials in the learning environment influences the way in which a student thinks and reacts.
The physical design of a developmentally appropriate classroom allows for experiences in areas for reading, writing, listening, dramatic play, art, numeracy, science, technology and an area for large group meetings.
The classroom is the child’s own territory where he/ she finds his/her own space. The classrooms at GWH have been designed to provide a space for teaching while extending it beyond the walls to the courtyards and the trees.
Throughout the school year, learning areas will change to reflect children’s interests, learning outcomes, projects and themes. The organizational structure and daily routines of the classroom should make children feel safe while supporting and encouraging them to participate actively cooperatively with others to become confident and independent learners. Consideration to the materials displayed throughout the room is necessary in the design of the physical space of the classroom. Displays which clutter student’s learning spaces have been avoided.
An aesthetically pleasing environment celebrates and values children’s work by including displays of their work. This allows the child to feel valued for his/her contributions to the learning environment in which he or she belongs.
THE QUAD/ KUND
The stepping kund as a symbol of the wetting your feet in the pool of learning is located at the centre of the school. The space between the higher and lower classes encourages interaction between the children, where they could bond over lunch or the occasional play.
The QUAD is the social hotspot of the school and also serves as the assembly space bringing the entire school together every morning.
Good use of colour, images, messages, information, well-planned seating and music can have an enormous effect on the sense of ‘space’ in a dining area. Pupils’ surroundings can have an impact on their sense of wellbeing, and in terms of changing the culture, ethos and understanding of healthy eating messages, schools have found that focusing on their dining rooms is invaluable.
To develop healthier eating habits pupils must respect and enjoy the environment they sit in. A successful dining space is all about good design. Children and young people are more likely to eat a healthy meal at school if they have a seat and a table. It also promotes social skills and a time to sit and eat with friends, providing time away from the pressures of the classroom
A space that’s usually reserved for student assemblies and performances will become more than a venue for special occasions. A two level, 700 seater auditorium caters to the budding playwrights and performers.
Designed to be efficient and innovative, the auditorium will be used regularly for classes, lectures, speakers, performances and special events custom seating, lighting and acoustics. The spaces will also be able to be easily divided or adjoined to serve small or large groups.
THE SPORTS COMPLEX
GWH has one of the best sporting facilities in the country designed to international standards. A multisport indoor court with for Badminton, Basketball and Volleyball sits across the lush green football pitch. A lap pool and toddler pool have been provided for the budding swimmers. The Yoga / aerobics multipurpose halls provide spaces for physical and spiritual growth.
The unhindered landscape at GWH is only punctuated by the Architecture of the buildings as it sweeps through the school from edge to edge. The landscape is one with nature reflecting its every peak and valley blending through and binding the school into one coherent being.