Instead of a classic classroom setup with desks and chairs, a giant iceberg with a cinema, a platform and room for relaxation and recreation now accomodates many different types of learning situations. The Swedish free school organization Vittra’s new school in Stockholm has a physical design that promotes the organization’s educational methods and principles.
When the new Vittra school “Telefonplan” was established in Stockholm, Rosan Bosch created the school’s interior design, including space distribution and distinctive custom-designed furnishings. The interior design revolves around Vittra’s educational principles and serves as an educational tool for development through everyday activities.
Vittra puts a high priority on developing new methods for teaching and interaction as a basis for educational development. Instead of a conventional classroom approach, the students are taught in groups adjusted to their achievement level based on the school’s educational principles about “the watering hole”, “the show-off”, “the cave”, “the campfire” and “the laboratory”.
Vittra Telefonplan deliberately uses its interior design as a means of developing the school and its educational principles. Rosan Bosch has used challenging custom-made furnishings, learning zones and room for the individual student to facilitate differentiated teaching and learning in a school where the physical space is one of the most important tools for educational development. Instead of a classic desk-and-chair setup, for example, a giant iceberg that features a cinema, a platform and room for relaxation and recreation now forms the setting for many types of learning situations, while flexible labs provide opportunities for focusing on special themes and projects.
The designs and the interior also accommodate Vittra’s active efforts to incorporate digital media and approaches. In the Vittra schools, laptops are the children’s most important tool – whether they are working sitting down, reclining or standing up.
After the project was completed, the results were translated into a design manual that will set a precedent for the design of Vittra’s other schools in Sweden.