A person must be able to explain any given address within the building, to any other person, who does not know his way around, in one sentence.”
—Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language.



Circulation must be integrated from the point property line to when they are in the buildings and moving through them. The major concern in schools is safety, especially for the Lower school. The site layout puts the lower school between the road and the upper school, forcing circulation either through or around the bottom of it. It is generally recommended to: Separate the different types of circulation; Eliminate or minimize cross traffic between pedestrians and vehicles; separate drop-off areas for busses and automobiles; service vehicles should be separated from the drop-off areas. Parking must take into account all the uses it will have: daytime visitors, parents, faculty, and students; special events will need overflow parking capacity, which could be paved play areas.

Transition of Words to Form

So, the hardest part. How to find the form of the building. Of course, none of the following mental dialog directly leads to the form of the building, but it may clarify what the significant issues involved in the project’s conception were.

    What is important here? A major point is about the social aspects of being at that age. What works well for students is that they have a regular schedule which makes the social times obvious. Lunch and any other break are times when the social skills are developed. But what is the purpose of this place? It would be the Waldorf purpose: to educate head, heart and hands. This three- aspect is seen as important. Vital. How to express the threefold working process/ threefold learning process? Learning as a process.

    Also, finding ones place in the world…

    So, there is this three-way process, and a school has to be a place of learning. For learning. And the weirdness of this school is that the learning should not be of the traditional sense (senses?) Or maybe it will.

    Why do they have classes? So that one teacher (under a tree?) can talk with a large number of students. So it has been an efficient way to learn.

    And now there is the computer. Is it relevant? By learning, we have two images; there is the one that Kahn presents, of a teacher, with wise things to say, teaching students who came to learn. Then there is learning as an active process; it involves actually seeking out what one wants to learn. An individual process, a search. But there must be direction. And most people, in fact almost all, will just vegetate, not search. There needs to be a push. I keep coming back, though, to the idea of seeking out what is individual in each person. Seeking out one’s potentialities. This is a search undertaken by oneself. How can others see someone’s potential? [more...]



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Circulation is made simpler by clear orientation within and without the building. Alexander recommends organizing circulation by reference points, and by a “nested series of realms.”

Busses

There is currently a bus stop at the entrance to the school property. While this is convenient for the bus circulation, it forces pedestrians to cross the parking areas for the lower school. The school bus must have some safe place to drop off children.