A large Production house in Mumbai suburbs approached SDM Architects to refurbish there 2400 sq.ft. of premise for establishing a Montessori based early education center. The school is located in one of the prime zones in Andheri, Mumbai amongst residential and working neighborhood. The design of the school is based upon three primary principles of Maria Montessori's ideology, which is to allow them free exploration, observation and learning through play.
This one unified space is not divided into individual classrooms, but rather are interconnected with sliding folding doors to maintain the connectivity within the complete school. It also gives them the flexibility to create enclosed spaces for a group of children to focus on there own work / activity. Each room has its own colour scheme to define its identity to the children who can eventually connect and relate it as their own space. A sense of belonging and connection is very important for a child at an early stage of their life. A grand height of 14 ft for each room makes way for enough light and ventilation to be part of it. This does coax more active participation in activities by young children.
The size of each room is enough to have four zones within it which are meant for gross motor skills, dramatic play, sensory area and creative zone. Common passages or pathways are not dark and narrow as they combine common activity spaces, like the library and reading space. Even the entrance lobby doesn’t have a barrier and can be used for a puppet show or storytelling sessions.
The higher level can be accessed with a quaint wooden staircase with handrails just right for the young ones to independently access other rooms for different activities. The centre also includes two separate toilets for children which are appropriately designed considering the ergonomics for kids of this age. Special care has been taken to design clean and uncluttered atmosphere to allow for more space for free play and exploration.