TowerPinkster’s, Matt Slagle, AIA, LEED AP, recently partnered with Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Architect and Design Supervisor, Alex Smart, to create a “Classroom of the Future” submittal for an international design competition: The Open Architecture Network Classroom Challenge. The result was collaborative design that challenges traditional learning environments and explores the use of new technology and sustainable products.
TowerPinkster’s mission for “Classroom297” was to inspire GRPS students and staff to re-imagine their classroom, transforming it into a cutting-edge learning environment. The classroom had to support 36 students and state-of-the-art technology while remaining flexible enough to respond to a multidisciplinary curriculum.
Flexibility and Furniture
Experience tells us that if a room takes more than a few minutes to change, it never changes. And if we only make the furniture mobile, the technology wiring acts as a leash. Our team’s solution was the design for a “twisty” table which features a fixed, rotating leg through which wiring can be run. It can also be positioned to easily transform into different configurations. Bamboo cabinets house computer equipment, open shelving stores hands-on teaching tools, and curved walls create a better acoustic environment. Covered in “Idea Paint”, the walls become markerboards, so kids are actually encouraged to write on the walls.