Inspirational learning spaces are important for all educators-especially in the classroom. The teenage years consist of wonder, bewilderment, and self identification. It is a time of being at a crossroads with one's youth and adulthood, between personal interest and responsibility. The Averroes High School interior was a collaboration between the founders of the school and a design team, all of whom envisioned a space where students could be inspired both intellectually and artistically.
We have all seen the typical high schools, with their long corridors flanked with lockers and white linoleum flooring. This style certainly serves a function, but we had a different vision for Averroes. We would apply both form and function, and reinvent the very notion of what an educational institution should look like. Our primary focus was to create a space that encouraged inspiration and exploration, not only for the pupils, but for the educators as well.
The reality was that we were dealing with 4,000 square feet of open space, and transforming that into an inspirational arena would require imagination and innovation. We decided to keep the floor plan open to encourage fluidity between the different work spaces, allowing for a cross pollination of ideas. That said, our design team would have to identify and define each work space, and they accomplished this feat through the use of colored walls and the application of furniture for each respective area. Walking into AI, one can immediately notice the use of vibrant colors that have been juxtaposed against very tactile and natural elements, maintaining an ecologically friendly milieu.
We covered every detail to ensure each space would have true individuality, maximum functionality, and pleasing aesthetics; simplicity would be key. Standing in the heart of Averroes high school is the collaborative/innovative institution which houses the communal ideals of the school. Here, students can engage in intellectual or spiritual discourse with their peers and educators. In the classroom, wheeled tables were utilized so that the space would allow for discussion or lecture settings. The lounge area, which in regular high schools is normally reserved for staff, is dedicated entirely to our pupils. Here, they can collect their thoughts, read for leisure, compare notes, sketch ideas on chalkboard coffee tables, or simply reflect on an upcycled couch. This area was created to encourage ideation.