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The schoolhouse reconsidered

By Donald Alan Eurich


A well-ordered environment is essential to the learning process. Alfred North Whitehead acknowledged, "freedom and discipline are the two essentials of education". The Shady Hill School embodies this doctrine in spirit but not body. I have endeavored to shape this body into a disciplined, rigorous environment to free the intellect for discovery. The Master Plan is defined by buildings sited to structure the natural environment into a series of activity spaces, and, by the order of the original campus: the building orientation, fenestration, scale and interrelationships. Additional order was found through the siting of the large, multifunctional buildings. The Main Building, beyond providing for Administration and Assembly functions, acts as the "propylaeum" for the plane of education and initiates an experiential promenade. The Grade Building, which is an intermediate unit--larger than a classroom yet smaller than a school--is ordered from the inside by three, classrooms designed to satisfy, very flexibly, the spatial and functional requirements of each grade. The centralized space acts to celebrate the existence of the students in their building

Topics: Architecture, Elementary education, Philosophy of education
Year: 1992
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