Build Us Up: Associated Hebrew Schools, Posluns Campus
Associated Hebrew Schools, Posluns Campus, Toronto
Projekt Studio Architects
Photography: Wilson Costa
In addition to the client, Elissa Grossman, wanting a “super-creative, fun, immersive multi-functional space that was going to promote and foster creative thinking and exploration to a broad age group of students,” as Ben Gaum, principal at Projekt Studio Architects, puts it, the classroom was also intended as both a marketing and fundraising tool that would help attract new students and families to the school, and a space to honour her late grandfather, Alex Grossman. This meant abandoning standard conventions of what a classroom space typically looks and feels like, and instead approach it as an exercise in exploration – both physically and metaphorically – with a particular focus on tinkering, making, designing, coding and other STEM-related fields.
The designers used vertical spaces as much as planar spaces “to explore design opportunities that would heighten senses and put a smile on a student’s face,” says Gaum. Parametrically designed and fabricated reading pod walls are dramatic counterpoints to colourful sunken seating sections in the raised floor area of the room, but both serve similar functions: children can climb up into individual isolated spaces for private activities or down into a collective group setting; either way these movements lead to exploration and discovery.
Ben Gaum – Projekt Studio Architects
Oakley Construction – Contractor
Forrest Hill Group – Millwork
Timber Art CNC – Fabrication
PS Studio – Fabrication
Taymak – Flooring