World first in pre-school facilities opens its doors
Early Learning Village offers engaging environment for children
An innovative Early Learning Village designed by Bogle Architects has opened in Singapore, offering children a multicultural and flexible environment intended to represent a milestone in the delivery of pre-school education. Created for the global schools operator Cognita, the Village accommodates two facilities: The Stamford American International School and The Australian International School.
The Village has the capacity for 2,100 pupils, as well as 400 support staff. A key requirement in a concept of this magnitude was to ensure that the significant volume did not intimidate children. Ian Bogle, Founding Director of Bogle Architects, commented: “The challenge here was not to celebrate the scale but to make the building feel small, curious and playful – just like its occupants – and we have created a wealth of exciting and intriguing spaces.” The architects provided a dual experience for adults and children by establishing a good working environment for the staff, while including child-sized doors, work-benches with steps of different heights, and signage at child’s eye-level and on the floors.
Cognita's brief stipulated that the project should be a model for future projects of this nature, providing spaces rarely supplied in pre-school facilities. In response, the designers set out to create an open and engaging environment full of natural light and external awareness. Low-level ‘child height’ window seats for children allow for reflective activities such as viewing their surroundings or reading a book, while physical activities in the swimming pool, multifunctional hall or outdoor play spaces aid physical development. Adam Patterson, Head of Early Years at the Australian International School, stated: “From the living walls coming to life with flowers and native bees to the shared spaces that children are discovering around every corner, there is something that is exciting and something that creates a sense of wonder.”
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