Strata School is a K-8 public school that teaches students how to live justly in the Anthropocene through academic study, play, and work. Students become involved in the school’s operations and “home economics” with the guidance of faculty, staff, and PTA volunteers, in which they learn about their own agency as individuals and members of a community.
The school encourages these pedagogical goals through an interconnected matrix of classroom “blocks.” Following phases of construction, parts of the school are incrementally built and occupiable at different stages. Built using site-derived earthen material, oblique terrains and interiors accommodate the plastic needs of children to fidget, hide, explore, and introspect. Classrooms flow horizontally to promote a mixing of different age ranges. Meanwhile, the mass and interiority found in lower levels dissipate into more open, porous spaces at the upper levels to accommodate programmatic needs from enclosed, safe retreats to open playscapes.
Through the school’s environments, social ecologies, and its upkeep, children develop a more robust sense of agency about themselves and their surroundings.