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Elle Decor Italia

Learn as you play, colourful furniture in a new English language school in Madrid

The new centre English for Fun, designed by Rica Studio, gives children the chance to play in an adventure park

Miguel de Guzman

A close-up of the colourful furniture designed by the Rica Studio for the headquarters of Madrid’s school of foreign languages English for Fun. The design drew inspiration from the teaching method implemented in the school, the Reggio Emilia approach, according to which learning must stimulate the children’s creativity and all five senses

Colourful furniture in a school conceived like an adventure park: in the Spanish capital, Madrid-based Rica Studio designed a school that enables children of all ages and physical ability to learn as they play. This is the new headquarter of English for Fun, where foreign languages are taught employing the Reggio Emilia approach, a pedagogical method originally developed in Italy that has become globally popular. It is based on the idea that children are individuals with their own special and unique potential, which needs to be stimulated and encouraged.

Photo by: Miguel de Guzman

Photo by: Miguel de Guzman

The new centre English for Fun, designed by architects Lorena del Río and Iñaqui Carnicero, was created to enable young students to express their creativity interacting with space through this series of colourful cabinets that stimulate all five senses as part of the learning process. “An opportunity to enhance our design skills and give experience a shape”.

Photo by: Miguel de Guzman

The building, covering an area of roughly 1050 Sq m, has two floors. The environment is neutral and multifunctional, quite dissimilar to the classical venues for children, full of posters and toys. In the Reggio Emilia approach adopted by the Spanish school, learning is based on the free and constant exploration of space, which is a sort of third educator — after the teachers and the family — and on the creative interaction with objects.

Photo by: Miguel de Guzman

The partitions between classrooms are inhabitable walls made of the colourful modern furniture, composed of white aluminium frames and a system of draw-out boxes in beech wood. They can easily be used to quickly reconfigure rooms. The structure creates nooks in which children can clamber or store tools. The system, accessible from both classrooms and hallway, is characterised by a double perception. The space is fluid and visually continuous, and it allows parents to observe the learning process and children to move about without constraints.


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