Brooke and I have been hard at work refining the project. We decided to use synthetic grass for the courtyard area because it will stand up to heavy foot traffic. It is fade resistant and very durable as well as environmentally friendly. We made the music wall totally of xylophones of metal, oak and bamboo and various sizes and types. There are several kinds of seating. Garden benches, round cement benches with built in planters, a bench/wall, “ribbon” tables for eating where each end of the table can be leaned against while sitting on the ground. The datum lines define spaces in the courtyard for collaboration, active learning, classroom and display space as well as relaxation space. There is plenty of open space left at the front of the courtyard for group activities, such as painting theatre scenery, student signs and other large projects. A “banner walk” leads the students toward the rear of the Encore building to an amphitheatre and green space.
Friday, April 17, 2009
These are a few images of many from our process to design an art courtyard for Northern Guilford Middle School. Included here are a few images that show some ideas we’ve toyed with and where we are at now in our process.
I believe the arts should be integral to learning experiences in the classroom--not merely a separate part of the curriculum. Music, art, creative writing and performance arts all have connections to science, math, history and other topics. In the design for the courtyard, Brooke and I are planning to create an environment that invites all students – not exclusively art students, to explore their own creative journey. The way we plan to do this is to:
1. provide prominent places for art students to display their work
2. provide tools for teachers and students to have class outdoors
3. integrate outdoor musical instruments with the architecture
4. provide a green amphitheatre for outdoor classroom, multimedia facilities, theatre, band concerts and practice
5. places to relax, read, reflect
6. places to collaborate and congregate.
Integrated with all of these opportunities are areas that engage all the five senses along a student’s creative journey.