WeWork opened its first elementary school in Chelsea last week, equipped with modular classrooms, tree houses and giant floor cushions, dezeen reported Wednesday. Bjarke Ingels was tapped last year to design the WeGrow school on West 18th Street, designated for children ages three to nine, with a focus on education through play and interaction. New photos from the co-working company reveal open-plan classrooms with multi-functional furniture and lots of natural light.
The curriculum of the school has roots in the methods of Montessori, which focuses on supporting students through an inclusive and collaborative learning environment. This includes not separating students by age.
The design of the school emphasizes this mission by using nontraditional materials in an interactive environment. Super-elliptic objects are scattered across the school for a “learning landscape that’s dense and rational–yet free and fluid.” Natural materials and neutral colors were used as a calm setting.
“Playful and transparent, yet homelike and structured, WeGrow will nurture the child’s education through introspection, exploration and discovery,” BIG said in a statement last year.
As dezeen reported, a standout design in the school remains the round and layered wooden structures, perfect for children to crawl in and out. Activities like yoga, dance, martial arts and more will be offered.
And notably, WeGrow students will travel once a week to Linden Farm in Pound Ridge, NY, during the first and fourth quarters of the school year. At the upstate farm, students will learn how to plant and harvest crops. According to the school, fundamental courses like math, science and language arts are taught, as well as a heavy emphasis on creative expression and immersion with nature.
The company has plans to expand beyond fourth grade, adding a grade each year until they reach 12th grade. The annual tuition currently is $36,000 for age three, $39,000 for age four and $42,000 for age five and older. However, need-based financial aid is available.
In May, WeWork announced Ingels as their “Chief Architect,” a role where he will oversee the company’s projects. “As WeWork’s Chief Architect, Bjarke Ingels will help us reimagine and reshape the future of our spaces, our company and ultimately our cities,” WeWork CEO Adam Neumann said about the hire.
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Photos via WeWork
Neighborhoods : Chelsea