Site: Orkdal Kommune, Norway
Status: Competition 2009
Our concept for Grøtte School is quite simply to create a journey through a playful landscape. This is a horizontal journey that starts at the top of the kindergarten and ends at the bottom of the city. It is an inspiring and varied journey through buildings and landscape, which together stimulate the needs of the individual pupil and teachers both actively and passively from kindergarten to youth school. This hopefully creates a homogeneous diversity of experiences, activities and learning, both indoor as well as outdoor.
As a starting point the schoolyard has been divided into three small schoolyards for each main level. On the south side of the new children’s school is the schoolyard for classes 1-4, the schoolyard between the new children’s school and the youth school is for classes 5-7 and the north side is for classes 7-10. In this way you achieve a physical separation of the younger children from the older children. In other words, pupils have to go a long way to find trouble. There is a wide range of play and leisure potential for all age groups and both sexes in all three schoolyards. There are options for quiet, relaxing activities and for wild, energetic games in order to stimulate everyday development of motor, physical and social skills. The purpose of the outdoor areas is not to completely separate the classes at all times, on the contrary, connections with close experiences for teachers and pupils must be cultivated in the entire schoolyard in order to ensure a daily flow of life and diversity, and this will create focus on open and transparent flow throughout all of Grøtte School and its surroundings in order to support the network and synergy between the activities.
The different playground equipment in the schoolyard is adapted so that the activities can support the right age group and create a holistic sense of community within the school. It is arranged so that the individual pupil can feel safe and find physical and mental challenges to suit him or her at any time.