BIG and WeWork design a nature-inspired school for kids in NYC

bright room with timber and green furnishings

Creative co-working giant WeWork and acclaimed
architecture firm Bjarke Ingels
have teamed up to reimagine education starting with the
launch of WeGrow, a new school in the heart of New York City that
encourages education through play. Designed for children between
three and nine years of age, the light-filled learning landscape is
a tactile environment filled with custom-made curved architecture
and movable furnishings. The theme of nature runs throughout and
can be seen everywhere from the woodsy palette of timber surfaces
and shades of green to the Laufen-tiled vertical garden filled with
leafy plants.

kids playing in a round timber structure

Located in WeWork’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea
neighborhood, the first WeGrow school spans 10,000 square feet and
boasts a variety of communal spaces, which make up more than half
of the school’s
footprint. Designed to foster “natural education” by promoting
activities centered on discovery and collaboration, WeGrow hopes to
“undo the compartmentalization found in traditional schools …
by interweaving learning with playing spaces,” Bjarke Ingels
Group said. “The school environment becomes a third teacher that
unleashes the superpower of each child.”

two kids reading books in a round timber structure

adults working in gray room with curvy furniture

In addition to diverse playscapes, the school consists of four
flexible workshops, community space, a multipurpose studio, an art
studio and a music room. Hard corners are eschewed in favor of
round, organic forms, like the curved storage units built with
three different shelving levels for each age group. Sound-absorbing
“clouds” made from felt and decorated with nature-inspired
patterns hang from the ceiling and are illuminated with Ketra bulbs
that change in color and intensity depending on the time of day.
Felt is also used in the lobby and in the lounge.

Related: WeWork opens gorgeous WeLive co-living apartments on Wall

kids singing and dancing in a classroom

room with timber bookshelves

“From the lobby to the classrooms, WeGrow is lit by Gople Lamp
and Alphabet of Light — flexible lighting systems designed by BIG
Ideas and manufactured by Artemide to create ambiance effects that
form comfortable, natural lighting
throughout the school day,” Bjarke Ingels Group said in a project
statement. “Playful and transparent, yet homelike and structured,
WeGrow nurtures the child’s education through introspection,
exploration and discovery.”


Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu and Dave Burk via BIG

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
BIG and WeWork design a nature-inspired school for kids in NYC