KENSINGTON LEARNING SPACE
" Playing is no nonsense. It is something that has direct impacts on a child’s happiness, joy and creative freedom. "
Playing is no nonsense. It is something that has direct impacts on a child’s happiness, joy and creative freedom. The moment a child develops a positive attitude towards learning is the first step of what will become a journey where they are able to discover and develop themselves. The experience will nurture other aspects they will learn about life, as well as the ability to efficiently attain greater level of knowledge.
Kensington International Kindergarten operates with the goal to help its students grow to become beautiful budding spirits. Through the ‘Play-based learning’ approach, children are given the opportunity to develop according their own age while being able to preserve their unique individuality and improve their life skills. The concept later ramifies into ‘Kensington Learning Space’ or KLS, the extra-curricular learning hub for children from 6 months old to 11 years old. The learning style encourages learners’ physical skills and mental developments through the happiness and enjoyment of learning. IF takes the responsibility designing the interior space and graphic design of the project.
From the given requirements, IF picks up on different methods of ‘play’ as the main design concept. By combining various types of play from 1) an open-ended play with predetermined rules. 2) play with different possibilities under preset instructions 3) open-ended play with unlimited method that allows children to freely exercise their creativity.
The three stories inside Kensington Learning Space comprise of different types of classrooms from the cooking studio, art studio to a swimming pool including classes that help the children train essential skills needed for their own future. The spaces are designed to be architecture within architecture.
IF integrates 3 types of play through different architectural elements, from spatial characteristics, functionalities, furniture, all the way to the decorative details. Everything is realized to create the type of environment that will complement and resonate with the children’s learning experiences while still being able to fulfill certain specific functional requirements including safety and physically proportional to the height of the main users, which are the children of different age groups.
The ‘Play-Based Learning’ is translated into every part of the functional program. At the reception area, visitors can sense the philosophy the organization upholds through a series of vertical laths used as the flip board partition made up of a bunch of small triangular units. These units can be moved, adjusted and changed into different messages or images to correspond with the school’s current activities and occasions or whatever information KSL wishes to communicate with its users.
Each classroom is designed with flexibility being the priority. The design gets rid of any limitation that can obstruct children’s learning experiences, making the space a safe ground where children are able to play, explore and learn different things from their very own intuition, creativity and nature. One of the highlights is the design of the transitional space, which links the corridor to the classrooms. IF creates a pocket space at the front of each classroom, with each room equipped with a blackboard, a pocket for a shoe cabinet properly installed to prevent the unpleasant sight of unorganized shoes.
Cooking and Art Studios
The special studios for cooking and classes are designed to have a learning environment that encourages students’ actual practice. The cooking studio simulates a restaurant kitchen, which allows children to experience the use of real ingredients, standard cooking equipment and other details of the room designed for learning purposes. The entire surface of the art studio is covered with canvases for children to freely learn to scribble, draw and paint using their imagination.
One of the highlights of the project is the semi-outdoor swimming pool that incorporates the visual and physical presence of lines as the elemental component. It ends up accentuating the spatial characteristic of the pool’s fan-shaped form to be even more perceptible. In the meantime, the design creates a mood with a physical detail that takes the inspiration from water ripples. The space is gauged inward to eliminate sharp corners to further facilitate the flow of surfaces and textures of the space.
From the concept initiated by the project owner and their belief in children’s limitless imagination and creativity, the design is realized to create functionalities that can fully enable learning experiences whether through the spatial characteristics, the use of delicate lines and curved forms, the elimination of sharp corners and edges, which is done not only for the safety of the young users, but the unobstructed flow and overall harmony of the work itself. The furniture and learning tools are designed to be physically proportional to users’ bodies with the weights that aren’t too heavy for children to play with and move around freely, yet providing enough security to prevent the risks of accidents caused by the actual usage.
IF (Integrated Field co.,ltd.)
Plan Architect Co.,Ltd.
IF (Integrated Field co.,ltd.)