dtc montessori school
type: interior renovation and playground
client: dr. lavonne plambeck
location: greenwood village, colorado, usa
size: 12,000 sq ft
Dr. Maria Montessori, creator of “The Montessori Method of Education”, believed learning should occur in multi-age classrooms where children at various stages of development learn from and with each other. She also knew that children learn more by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, and exploring than by just listening, and that a multi-sensory, sequential environment facilitates the learning of skills and lead to learning in abstract ideas. An “open door” policy for parents, visitors, teachers and periodic visits from Montessori specialists is integral to the Montessori philosophy. The goal is the development of an autonomous individual, competent in all areas of life, not merely someone with the “right” answers.
Our charge was to create dynamic, interactive learning environments that encourage each child to reason, cooperate, collaborate, negotiate, and to understand with a fresh mind.
Varied entry sequences to the classrooms were developed to generate classroom identity. Walls of unexpected materials and shapes were created to reinforce the multi-sensory and sequential program requirements, and visual connections to other classrooms and to circulation were provided by a variety of methods and materials. The indoor multi-purpose activity room for noisy activities such as basketball, game playing, singing, dancing, etc. required an enclosed space. Anodized aluminum shingles were attached to the curving wall in an undulating armadillo like pattern to reinforce the enclosure requirement. Creative use of unexpected and inexpensive materials, such as clear and translucent Plexiglas, translucent and blue celled polycarbonate, and rolling translucent plexiglass panels, were used in an effort to maintain the minimal budget of the project.