The Avenues Sao Paolo campus seeks to engage students with natural plants and materials through a “close-to-nature” approach. Our efforts for this school redesign have been to bring natural materials into the building and in contact with students.
The centerpiece of the school is a 3-story atrium space that functions as a playground and gathering space for the school. Here we have developed Rain forest Reading Rooms, a Climbing Wall area, artificial turf pitch, and a massive 15m long, 5m high play feature called a Wall-Holla. We have also dramatically increased the amount of vegetation and natural wood materials to provide spaces to sit and contemplate.
Other areas that have been developed include the main building entry and café terrace which incorporate a dual-height precast planter system and that have vine cabling spanning between overhead canopy and planters that will house climbing plants; a toddler-focused outdoor roof terrace playground, and several other rooftop spaces that offer moments for learning and educational activities while also functioning as social gathering spaces. Each area has seen a careful attention to detail of how we re-use the existing spaces and imbue new design intelligence into them.
We have been working closely with our development team in Sao Paulo to source with locally grown, sustainably harvested wood products for benches and platforms, and to plant native rain forest species to bring a sense of regionalism and locality for this international school. Other elements such as cushioned play surfaces, safety railings, and other features have been developed in close collaboration with our team to ensure they meet Brazilian code and meet Avenues’ high standards for their international schools.