Educational Collaboration at an Asheville Charter School
The design and construction of the Evergreen Community Charter School outdoor classroom exemplifies Samsel Architects’ commitment to experiential education and collaborative design.
To start the process, Charles Krekelberg of our office worked closely with Evergreen’s 6th grade class to develop initial architectural designs for the project. Over the course of several weeks, he taught students how to construct three-dimensional models of their own outdoor classroom, employing an intuitive computer program. More than forty student designs were developed in collaboration with Charles, their guest instructor.
The design process then transitioned to AB Tech where college level students synthesized the various 6th grade proposals into five group projects. Guest critics invited to review the five projects included Evergreen staff, representatives of the construction team, and Charles Krekelberg.
In the spirit of collaboration, Charles worked with the project’s design team to develop a single hybrid design that reflected the most educationally engaging features from the five AB Tech group projects. At least one educational feature from each of the group projects was integrated into the final design.
The construction of the outdoor classroom incorporated the skilled craftsmanship of many volunteers including Evergreen students and staff, Green Opportunities trainees, parent and community volunteers, and the AB Tech students who worked on the design of the project.
The Evergreen Community Charter School outdoor classroom includes a hempcrete storage shed with a green roof, expansive gardens, and a covered classroom with a cob oven. One of the most educationally innovative aspects of the project is the scale mockup of the green roof, which has been lowered to a height that can be used by teachers and students as an integral part of the school’s environmental curriculum.
Posted by Margaret