Comprehensive School - Students' VillageEdit profile
As architects and designers who are integrated in the Israeli building activity and who have designed many commercial and residential buildings in the last few decades, we view the creation of the school environment as our primary purview. The physical environment of the educational activity serves as a stage that forms the messages that will shape the students’ basic opinions as citizens to be – their opinion in regards to the community, the culture, authority, interpersonal conduct rules and aesthetics values, along with values such as hygiene, harmony, nature and creativity. It is difficult to quantify the linkage between the design of the educational environment and the educational process. However, based on our experience, the design and inspiration put into the design process, while taking into account all factors, are appreciated by the students, teachers and parents alike. The school is a place kids aged 6 to 18 spend the majority of their time and intramural grow up. Therefore, it is possible to assume the structure, in its broad implication, assists in the shaping of their future. The children, teachers and principals all require a building that will serve as a home and that will consist of life, savor, personal mightiness and uniqueness. Designing schools requires an understanding of the school’s position in the community and the understanding of the student’s relation to the space. Based on this cognition we have defined the main tasks of planning: Image – reshaping the school’s institutional image Environment – the school will carry an independent and unique but not duplicated identity Atmosphere – the school is not intended solely for studying, but rather it is a part of the woof and wrap of life When we approach the design process, we are faced with several principals: Transforming the school into a space full of experiences and one in which the student can expand his imagination. Creating a space that the students feel it belongs to them while creating an identification of self, countering the alienation that develops in many cases. Taking advantage of the relations between colors, aesthetic forms and atmosphere in order to create an atmosphere of happiness and enthusiasm, and encourage diversity and renewal. Creating a relationship with the surroundings and integrating the school with the community. Relating to the classroom, the passageways, the playground and the gate as a totality of spaces in which the students learn to be citizens. Arranging for spaces that will encourage company, discussion, discovery and creation as opposed to the feeling of supervision and control. The school serves as the environment that brings together the young, the society and the establishment. We, the architects, serve as mediators between the pedagogical policy, the advancement of students, the directives set by the authority, the safety regulations and the budget constrains. Our goal is to integrate the ramified system of requirements with stratums of historical experience, personal memory and the colorfulness of the space – the creation of a space that is pleasant and respectful, a space one can belong to and feel responsible for, a place that is called “school`, and deserves to be a school. The Netanya Educational Center enabled us to develop the notion of disarticulating the school structure. The school was built as a village. Each class received its own “house`. The entrance is through the central piazza and the houses are positioned along the streets and along alleys that were laid between the streets. The school became a place. Many varieties of spaces were designed throughout the school – spaces suitable for students of various ages and various social circumstances. You may stroll along the street, see and be seen, or alternately, wonder around the playground. Great effort was put into the planning of the “negative` spaces of the study rooms – these are the spaces students wonder around in between classes. To our opinion, the character of these spaces is what determines the relationship between the student and his school. A friendly environment will bring a positive attitude towards the place. The main issue we dealt with during the design process was our desire to replace the “hallway`. The hallway is what symbolizes the anonymous and the establishment. The modification of the layout by replacing the hallway is the basis for the change we strive to achieve. The Netanya School came to be with the great assistance of a team that included the school principal, Mr. Menachem Plantka and the Education Department Director at the Netanya Municipality, Mr. Aaron Kanti. The architectural design principals were assimilated by the school principal who anchored the ‘Village’ idea and named the streets and alleys after characters taken from stories by national author Shay Agnon. A single spirit blows through this friendly home. The cooperation of educational figures and parents and the attention given to their comments restore the importance and centrality the school deserves in the community life. The supportive reaction we receive from students serves as proof for achieving our goal – the school will return to be a place of good memories of youth and adulthood.