Imagination Is Not Bound In This Beautiful Waldorf Straw Bale Classroom


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Categories: Homes / Dwellings

Waldorf School's follow Rudolf Steiner's philosophy and methodology, and the pedagogy emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate holistically the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils.

Steiner's division of child development into three major stages is reflected in the schools' approach to early childhood education, which focuses on practical,hands-on activities and creative play; to elementary education, which focuses on developing artistic expression and social capacities; and to secondary education, which focuses on developing critical reasoning and empathic understanding. The overarching goal is to develop free, morally responsible, and integrated individuals equipped with a high degree of social competence. Qualitative assessments of student work are integrated into the daily life of the classroom, with quantitative testing playing a minimal role in primary education and standardized testing usually limited to that required for college entry. Individual teachers and schools have a great deal of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology and governance.

Like a cottage straight out of a fairy tale, the Tecilli Classroom in Cuernavaca, México is a beautiful, dreamy space designed to inspire the young minds who attend. The Waldorf preschool classroom was built over an 8 week period with the help of community members who used sustainable materials and strategies to help reduce the school's carbon footprint and generate a positive impact. Designed by Laboratorio Arquitectura Básica Mx, the strawbale classroom makes use of locally-sourced agricultural waste straw, daylighting and other natural materials to create a charming space in which to learn.

“Tecilli” means butterfly cocoon in Nahuatl, and the classroom is meant to be a cocoon in which to nurture the children who come to school there. When plans for the school were just beginning, the teacher asked for it to be like a fairy tale room with arches and curves, niches and colorful walls. With the chosen method of construction, strawbale, the arches, curves and an organic feel were easily achieved. Nooks for storage, peep-hole windows and decorated walls were all incorporated into the room.

The main building material, strawbales, were made from locally-sourced agricultural waste straw. Using strawbales from local sources prevents the burning of the material and resulting CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, and it also eliminates the use of costly building materials and energy consumption. Inside the preschool, natural daylighting and ventilation create a healthy and vibrant space in which to learn, plus they help reduce energy use. Additionally the super thick strawbale walls, which are covered with local clay, give thermal and acoustic insulation. The walls are coated with a clay plaster and a natural earthen / lime paint mixture, which in some areas was sculpted into decorative shapes.

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