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A Reggio inspired centre in Australia considers the experiences of the child in more ways than one

Designed by Towill Design Group, Reggio-inspired Brisbane-based St Pauls Kindergarten derives out of the centres' ethos that celebrates the child and his or hers thoughts, ideas and way of perceiving the world.

Every design decision considers the child.

The architects not only worked with the staff when tackling the new build, but involved the children who explored ideas through drawing.

The children's drawn ideas for their new EC centre are displayed on the windows, which wrap around the entire building.

The centre is deliberately situated within close proximity to the Primary School, thus easing the transition for the child from kindergarten to school.

The classroom employes a number of techniques to delineate the space and it's functional use. A large circular mat encourages the children to sit and play together informally, while tables are set up which focus on a particular task. The space is kept flexible with moveable furniture and partitions.

A surving relic of the 1900s progressives: Preshill School

Founded in Melbourne, Australia in the early 1930s, the privately run Preshill - The Margaret Lyttle Memorial School is a surviving experiment in progressive education.

The school started as a small cottage founded by a woman called Margaret Lyttle and moved to its current site in 1938. At the time the structure was a fairly typical upper middle class suburban house. However, many physical changes occurred over the next 44 years.

This extract from an article in the design observer by a long-time member of the school community sums up the school's somewhat contradictory formal and informal growth, resulting in a rich learning environment;

"It's the informality of it, coupled with complexity. Change in the school is almost always organic... There's a sense of evolution, of things being updated. If there's a tree, a building will twist itself around it...The school seems to have succeeded in allowing what was there 50 years ago to still be apparent". 

Formal changes include the numerous classrooms, a hall, later retreat rooms and lastly - an upper floor library; each of which required conscious thought and planning. Yet additional to this have been the every-day informal (or even subconscious) changes: Plants, winding pathways, built huts, play equipment, animal pens, and even an underground air-raid shelter, which later became underground huts and mud pits. All a result of the ebb and flow of every-day school life.


site by Ana Degenaar