The commission contemplated the construction of a kindergarten inspired in the Reggio Emilia pedagogical philosophy and method, starting out from the idea that architecture can create alternative learning methods based on experience. The building contains twelve classroom modules for children aged between four months and four years, and five specialized workshops in different learning areas.
The project considers the learning space as another professor, together with parents and teachers: the third ‘master,’ using the term coined by Loris Malaguzzi, who inspired and promoted this teaching method after World War II. The goal is to turn schools, through their architectural design, their facilities, and their spaces, into attractive and innovative places. According to Malaguzzi’s description, in these schools “children can move about freely around the classrooms and corridors (...). Each classroom has a theme with atmospheres prepared to boost learning, experimentation, communication and research.” Through this approach children benefit from a dynamic and functional custom-designed learning space. The spaces are designed and distributed in accordance with the size and needs of children, permitting interaction and fostering collaboration, team work, the participation of the family and, above all, the trust in the natural capacity of children.
The project builds a large shaded perimeter that houses the education program, in which the building ‘floats’ so the central area is as permeable as possible, letting the garden in. The modular system proposed generates versatile and open atmospheres, where both the classrooms and the circulation spaces, the playgrounds and the outdoor spaces are designed to respond to the diversity and complexity of the activities, with pedagogical atmospheres (themed areas) rather than just structures. These themes can change over time without affecting the organizational structure. The existence of empty spaces between the classrooms maximizes the quantity and
quality of the spaces for teaching, because these voids of different scale function as an extension of the interiors, as spaces for retreat or gathering; each playground can have a didactic, sensory, or ludic theme and becomes an educational device, turning architecture into a learning tool for children...[+]
Barranquilla, Atlántico (Colombia)
Baby Gym Barranquilla
Giancarlo Mazzanti (proyectista designer), Juan Manuel Gil, Natalia Canal, Liv Joana Zea, Felipe Vejarano, Paula Santander, Joana Peixoto, Juliana Alzate, Jessica Jaramillo, Andrés Correa (colaboradores collaborators)