MOVE: a fun Playground

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Abstract

“Most people, talking of their happiest childhood experiences, will describe places that were wild, overgrown, mysterious, hidden from adult eyes; trees where they built houses, undergrowth where they created smugglers' passages, dumps where they could find scraps of wood and empty boxes. Rarely if ever will their treasured memories revolve around schoolyards or parks or other formal spaces provided for play.” (Cooper, 1970)
The objec/ve of MOVE is to revamp the Sant’Agos/no primary school to meet the needs of the pupils, recognizing that the physical condi/ons of educa/onal buildings significantly influence the effec/veness of educa/on (Al et al., 2012). It is widely acknowledged that during the forma/ve years of children, a diverse range of experiences promotes independent learning and enhances cogni/ve development (Cooper, 1970; Bruni et al., 2018). Therefore, the learning spaces must be designed based on a thorough understanding of children's development to s/mulate interac/on, imagina/on, and diversity (Dudek, 2014). The school's architecture should enable pupils to have the freedom to be crea/ve and take ownership of their development, with minimal interference from adults, but under adequate supervision to ensure safety, known as "freedom within limits" (Cooper, 1970; Plummer, 1987).
The proposal is centred on the spaces of movement, specifically the connec/on spaces, which should serve as areas for expanding tradi/onal learning. Our proposal redefines these spaces as not just connec/ons but as interac/ve spaces. The new spa/al configura/on shirs the focus from a frontal learning approach to an explora/ve one, providing every individual with the opportunity to grow based on their own inclina/on. The tradi/onal courtyard is transformed into a square, which serves as a fun playground for the en/re school community.
The slides, which connect the two floors of the school via the staircases and courtyard, serve as a visual representa/on of MOVE's principles. Simultaneously, they func/on as machines that place pupils at the focal point of their educa/onal experience. These slides are inspired by Carsten Höller's “Test Site” (2006) installa/on at the Tate Modern in London, which sought to introduce a sense of playfulness into architectural design. Höller's installa/on raised two main ques/ons: “How might a daily dose of sliding affect the way we perceive the world? Can slides become part of our experien/al and architectural life?” (Tate, 2006). According to Höller, the installa/on created “a laboratory of doubt” that challenged spectators and provided them with breath-taking sensa/ons as they tumbled down the slide amidst the exis/ng space. The slides installa/on serves as a space where both users and spectators play a crucial role, with Höller himself sta/ng, "I've come to realize that the real material in my art is the spectators" (Höller et al). As the slides connect different floors, they create a playful moment of sharing, enabling pupils to redesign and re-appropriate the space collabora/vely, placing the experience of the space at the centre of their learning.
The classrooms are now openly designed with large and transparent door frames. Through the corridors, interfaces between the inside and outside, classrooms could expand to the outside area fostering innova/ve ac/ons. (Bruni at al., 2018). Classrooms are manifold rather than singular, incomplete rather than cellular, and overlapping rather than serial. (Plummer
1987) The corridors, which once played an ancillary role, have been reimagined as spaces for interac/on.
The new layout entails a flexible and mul/faceted playground, which children will remember, and which will have a posi/ve impact on their growth as adults during their crucial developmental years.
Given the urban, central loca/on of the Sant'Agos/no primary school, we believe that our proposal will have a significant impact in revitalizing the old Civitanova Alta conserva/on project. As an open space, the school's courtyard will serve as an extension of the town's open spaces system, par/cularly the Piazza della Libertà, Corso Annibal Caro, and Via Guglielmo Oberdan. Likewise, the educa/on building will be situated at the heart of both the pupils' learning experience and the town's social and civic life.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2023
EventIl convegno Spazio agli spazi della formazione
II conference Space for training spaces: CALL NAZIONALE PER RIFLETTERE SULLE SCUOLE DI CIVITANOVA MARCHE - CONVEGNO E MOSTRA
- CIVITANOVA ALTA , Italy
Duration: 27 Apr 202327 Apr 2023
Conference number: 2

Conference

ConferenceIl convegno Spazio agli spazi della formazione
II conference Space for training spaces
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityCIVITANOVA ALTA
Period27/04/2327/04/23

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