Dutch architects i29 and Snelder have designed a school that inverts everything about traditional education buildings. Gone are wall posters and noticeboards, institutional green paint schemes and a jumble of colors. Instead, it’s all about poetry.
And that’s quite literally: The key bits of writing on the wall, floors, desks and tables aren’t graffiti, but room labels, and stenciled lines of poems specially written by Dutch poet Erikjan Harmens with guidance by the kids themselves.
The main idea was to use the school’s name Panta Rhei–translated as “everything flows”–as a theme to come up with the new building designs. As a result, the starkly utilitarian concrete structure is broken up with stenciled text and lots of open spaces that have unique furniture in them. The tables and stools, for example, are designed to be unusual shapes so that they can be rearranged to suit group or individual work.
The resulting building is so clean and fascinating, with rooms that almost belong in a Clockwork Orange, or the space station in 2001, that it’s easy to imagine dozens of future Dutch Kubricks graduating from Panta Rhei, don’t you think?