With its imaginative and colourful interior, Sweden’s Vittra School near Telefonplan, Stockholm demolishes the boundaries between education and leisure. Reminiscent of the kind of campus you’d likely find at a company like Google, the space eliminates the traditional idea of classrooms entirely while giving both teachers and students the opportunity to work in different settings depending on the learning situation.
Launched in 2012, the unique learning environment was designed by architecture firm Rosan Bosch and is intended to stimulate children's curiosity and creativity. With features like small caves for concentration and contemplation, a colorful cave with deep red upholstery, organic high tables for group work and soft lounge furniture for informal gatherings, the school deliberately uses its interior design as a means of furthering its educational principles.
Running about 30 different schools in Sweden, Vittra boasts a singular teaching style that further set them apart. In 2010, they began an initiative called One to One for students from grades four and up which sees each student receive their own laptop. Every student has their own personal curriculum, teachers don’t give grades, and students are taught in groups which are adjusted to suit their achievement level.
Instead of classrooms, the school has multipurpose spaces where students can work collaboratively or individually. Teachers use mobile carts packed with teaching materials to teach specific subjects. The open nature of the campus and the unusual furniture arrangements reflects the school's philosophy that "children play and learn on the basis of their needs, curiosity, and inclination."
Non-traditional in every sense, even the school’s furniture was custom made to help students to engage in conversations while working on projects. The classic desk-and-chair setup, for example, is replaced by giant ‘iceberg’ that features a cinema. Other features include a platform and room for relaxation and recreation, and flexible labs that provide opportunities for focusing on special themes and projects.
Want to learn more? Visit the official Vittra School website here.