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The snuffle of the silver dragon

I've posted on De Baupiloten twice previously - as I think they have got it spot on when it comes to designing for kids. (De Baupiloten are a group of students from the Berlin Technical University under the leadership of architect Susanne Hoffman.)

Their design for the Erika-Mann Elementary School in Berlin, Germany is another fantastic example of an architectural intervention on an existing building, where De Baupiloten have redesigned the interior - hallways and classrooms.

Here you can see the design process, where De Baupoliten started off with making a cardboard model and then a computer model - this modular seating component is what transforms the school's upper stories' floors and walls. See how it pulls apart for different functions and ways of sitting.

The original building was designed by Ludwig Hoffmann in 1915 and displayed the typical sterile and authoritarian educational architetcure of the 20th century. The re-design works in various spaces for play, interaction and contemplation.

I love this isonometric drawing for its ability to communicate the various retrofit 'parts' - corridors and rooms - transforming the existing spaces.

The school children worked with De Baupiloten in a series of workshops - where they became 'co-designers' - where they created a fantastical and poetical worlds - and where they developed the concept of the "Snuffle of the dragon".

Left - is the "Chill Room" - a landscape of seating pedestals covered with foam, tarp and various textiles. A series of one meter high 'petals' form a protective island around the pedestals - made of wood - and can be individually formed by the children - to manipulate sound, light and laminate.

Right - is the "Snuffle Garden" - a series of horizontal and sloped surfaces there the children can lay, sit, or slide. Particles such as the "wings" and "fireflower" 'float' inside the "snuffle of the dragon". The particles are fold out chairs and sculptures on which the children sit or retreat into. Light covers the seats in a golden glow.

The "Dragon's Breath" - reflecting each other.

The "Silver Dragon" - a playful, fun and experimental design concept transforms the experience of the school's space and the spirit of the space - which alters, resonates, engages and shimmers. De Baupoliten show how with a bit of imagination and collaboration (between architects, students and children) can result in a successful experience for all.

Via ArchDaily and De Baupolitan.


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