Photos by Dave Burk, Laurian Ghinitoiu and Katelyn Perry.
WeGrow is an interactive learning landscape supports a conscious approach to education, nurturing the growth, spirit and mind of the 21st century child. The 10,000 ft2 learning universe for children aged three to nine is located in WeWork’s HQ in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. A field of spaces with a variety of functions allow children to move freely throughout the day and to learn from the environment around them and each other. The learning landscape encourages collaboration by emphasizing transparent and communal spaces: four classrooms, flexible workshops, community space, multi-purpose studio, art studio, music room and playscapes support the energy of creation and togetherness.
Three different shelving levels for each age group curve occasionally to create various activity pockets and give a feeling of comfort, safety and community, while allowing teachers to have full perspective of the space at all times. Above, acoustic clouds made of felt reflect the different patterns in nature – fingerprint, coral, landscape and moon – and illuminate with Ketra bulbs that shift in color and intensity based on the time of day.
Each learning station within WeGrow includes furniture with details and materials carefully designed by BIG to optimize the educational environment: puzzle tables and chairs manufactured by Bendark Studios come in kid and parent sizes to offer equal perspectives, the vertical garden with tiles by Laufen house different plants depending on shade exposure, and the mushroom shelves and magic meadow create a calm setting while reading hives form an immersive library for an organic learning environment. Teachers and parents share the lobby with the children, where a playful felt nook forms from the smooth cut out in the walls to serve as a flexible work, meet and waiting area. From the lobby to the classrooms, WeGrow is lit by Gople Lamp and Alphabet of Light.
Credits: Laufen, Febrik, Ketra, WeWork, Bednark Studio, Digifabshop, William Vitacco Associates Ltd., Environetics Group Inc., Cosentini Associates