We’ve seen how imaginatively designed educational spaces can be vital to a child’s growth, particularly through the development of this Hawaiian public charter school which is complete with an outdoor reef pool.
Now French designer Matali Crasset is showcasing one of her latest projects: the colorfully revitalized Blé en Herbe School. Located in the village of Trébedan in Brittany, the French school is another example of how we could revitalize more schools to spark creativity.
The pre-existing, single-level building was extended to create a large area for two newly renovated classrooms with a variety of structural, functional aspects within each for children to explore. The furniture blends the warmth of wood with the sturdiness of metal, and the brightly colored classrooms encourage the students to freely perform their own activities. In fact, vivid colors are used throughout all of the interior spaces, and artwork can be hung on vertical supports beside each child’s desk, so vibrant displays can be mixed up on a whim.
Matali Crasset’s project focused primarily on visibly strengthening social and cultural elements of the educational space through the redesign and arrangement of classrooms, communal areas, and playground, including incorporating tiny architectural components both inside and outside the school. Simple, but playful features have been carefully built into each of the spaces to inspire interaction within the learning environment.
“A school is not a closed cocoon, so let’s give children the desire to move, go outside, interact with their environment. To learn how to look around and remain curious seems essential as should the area where we spend most of the day,” says Matali Crasset.
Images by Philippe Piron courtesy of Matali Crasset Productions
Large windows now bathe the interior spaces with plenty of natural light and also showcase the playground, which will be shared with the village’s inhabitants as a communal space once it is complete. The entire building curves toward the inner playground area “like a protective arm around a child,” while simultaneously opening up to a protected terrace. Students can then interact with the vegetation and watch their plants grow.
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