The Municipal Early Childhood Education School is located in the municipality of São Caetano do Sul, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. With the concept of a Park School, it was constructed in the central area of an existing square that is open for community use.
The landscaping project was conceived based on principles of environmental conservation, despite the need to preserve the existing vegetation, which consists of a consolidated but non-native tree canopy. The project prioritized the use of native species from the Atlantic Forest biome to enrich the vegetation, condition the microclimate, and enhance the scenic beauty of the created spaces. The project also included the incorporation of functional species in thematic gardens that allow for the experimentation of educational activities for the students. The design of the pavement and flowerbeds aimed to integrate the square areas facing the city with the gardens dedicated to early childhood education activities, creating spaces for leisure, contemplation, and interaction with nature. This represents a highly innovative concept for the use of outdoor areas in public schools in Brazil.
Around the school, spaces were created to explore playfulness, utilizing the topographical variations in outdoor play areas along with an orchard area of native fruit trees. The design of pathways and subspaces on each side of the building allows for various integrated activities within a vegetation composition that, in addition to its scenic potential, enables pedagogical, recreational, and environmental study activities through sensory stimuli that invite exploration and experience of the garden.
Considering different stimuli, thematic gardens were created, such as the Flower Garden and the Sensory Garden, which are situated along a spiral path, providing children with the opportunity to interact with species of different morphological and phenological characteristics, including different colors, textures, and aromas. Constructed elements such as a circular platform and a large bench allow for multiple uses. An integrated Rain Garden, where students can observe the path of water, and a vegetable garden maintained by the children themselves were also proposed. Outside the school, on the sidewalk facing the avenue, a bleacher was created for passersby to rest or sit while waiting for their bus.
Architecture offices involved in the design: Carolina Penna Arquitetos
Photographed by Ana Mello
Location: São Caetano do Sul, São Paulo – Brasil
Design year: 2019
Year Completed: 2021