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The HUB: Dear Architect

Imagine an innovative, multi-level learning space that puts Student Voice and Student Choice at the heart of our school. This August, we’re looking forward to the HUB inspiring our students and connecting their learning across our campus and the world. Join us on the journey of this new space to learn more, from inception and philosophy to design and construction!

In 2017, our students and consultants at NoTosh helped to create “Dear Architect: A Vision for Our Future School.”

Dear Architect,

We want to let you know what’s important for us before you begin the redesign our library. We hope this new space will allow for the continuation of curation in a traditional library setting, while functioning as a creative space, that is open to all kinds of students, at every age level. Key elements that must be considered in the creation of this new space are choice, visibility and inclusion.

The safety of our students is paramount. The space must be structurally sound (naturally) but must also welcome students, allowing them the choice to use the space. The space should work for each group of users, from our youngest students, to our most senior. As such the Library needs to have spaces where sound can be reduced, while ensuring that the natural noise of a learning environment is not subdued.

We want to have a space that allows for maximum space for teachers, students and parents to use, and minimizes the number of resources physically on display, without actually depleting the resources available to the school community. Digital resources, a back-catalogue of books, media, and revision materials which are stored out of site, but easily accessed are a key design point. These resources should be visible to the school community, through self-service machines, and easily requested.

A key element of the new space, is to embrace the idea of visible learning, where students can take inspiration from one another, and watch one another in their learning process. Creating a space that ensures the inclusion of all cultures from within our school, and community, is very important to us. As an international school, keen to burst the bubble around us, incorporating Chinese culture in our school, including language, (alongside the nationalities, cultures, and languages of all our students) is central to what we want to achieve. Display areas, the furniture and physical design of the space, are all ways in which we think this can be achieved. Decluttering leaves room for all of our community to breathe. Staff found that by physically reducing the number of objects in a space, allows students to not only make it their own, but creates a space where students and staff can breathe, free of mental and physical barriers or worries. This concept also raised the need for the implementation of good, smart, and flexible storage to help improve the access to a space, as well as the dynamic of said space, quickly.

These elements boil down to creating a new space which is flexible, can transition easily depending on the intended use or user, and functions as a hub for creativity and curation across the school.

 


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