Inner City Waldorf School
The 2006 Ralph Rapson Competition, sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, asked participants to design an elementary school that used the Waldorf philosophy as the basis for its educational program. The project is a theoretical investigation of architecture.
The Waldorf philosophy suggests that children learn best when they learn with all of their senses. The Inner City Waldorf School is meant to be a place of light and tactility, a place where the difference between inside and out is hard to discern, and a place where every single act of the day is an act of learning. A number of sustainable design strategies were incorporated into the project to not only make the building healthier, but to make the building fit into its site better as well.
The design process started with the idea of cutting the earth and then folding it back to create a covered space. Through a series of manipulations, the folded back earth allowed the light to enter the site and spaces to take shape.