Human Spaces

Spaces designed with the human in mind

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Case studies

St Mary’s Infant School – Jessop and Cook Architects

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St Mary’s Infant School

An example of how biophilic design can be beneficially incorporated into educational space.

Nikhilesh Haval - Nikreations

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St Mary’s Infant School

The exterior sheltered play area.

Nikhilesh Haval - Nikreations

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St Mary’s Infant School

The main classroom building.

Nikhilesh Haval - Nikreations

Research demonstrates that incorporating key principles of Biophilic design can make dramatic improvements to educations spaces, improving experiences for children, students and staff alike. In fact studies suggest that children can learn 20% to 25% faster when taught in spaces using natural light.

Whilst education establishments can be vast and complicated spaces, I wanted to share this great and relatively simple scheme at St Mary’s infant school in Oxfordshire, England. It demonstrates many beneficial Biophilic features including plentiful natural light from roof lights, views out onto nature, natural materials textures and colours plus safe and sheltered interior and exterior play spaces.

There are 2 sections to the building, each has the same pitched roof profile but they have been offset to create more opportunities for natural light to enter both parts of the building. Integrated acoustic ceiling panelling creates a healthy balanced aural environment – essential for the health and well being of staff members who need to maintain focus and for children to be able to hear clearly during lessons.

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St Mary’s Infant School

Views out onto nature

Nikhilesh Haval - Nikreations

The threshold between the interior of the classroom and the outdoors has been blurred – improving the perception of access to nature. At a time when the opportunity for children to experience the outdoors is decreasing, these experiences can be extremely beneficial. Within learning environments, there is evidence that accessing nature can improve focus and behaviour whilst enabling mental restoration, all of which can improve both children and staff’s cognitive functions, therefore their ability to learn and thrive.

St Marys is a small and well contained example of how biophilic design can be beneficially incorporated into educational spaces. Have you had experience of it in other ways or scales of learning spaces, or even experienced the benefit yourself? I’m intrigued to hear others experiences.

http://www.jessopandcook.co.uk/