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Arch cadena emiliekern sp22 03 typicalclassroom

Solace School

Inspired by the immediately adjacent Sarah D. Roosevelt Park, this project is designed as a series of canopies, creating moments of solace for students through a fluidity between the indoor and the outdoor.

However, unlike the rigidly programmed neighboring park, this building was designed with the intention of carving out flexible space for students to use as they please. The curvilinear forms and their corresponding spatial arrangement create moments of refuge and respite as well as connections to nature in a bustling city. Here, under the shelter of the canopies, students are free to roam, ponder, experiment, and explore.

This project intentionally plays with and on contrasts—specifically between the playfulness of an elementary school and the austerity of a concrete structure. Marrying the structure of the building with the pedagogy of the school, the soft curves slope in such a way that allows a child to feel and be in touch with their surroundings. A child’s awareness is furthered by the open-air corridors, outdoor classrooms, and courtyards which ultimately instill a sense of grounding from a young age. As they grow up, students learn to take moments for themselves and find solace in nature.