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Create Gathering Spaces

The Collaborative promotes design as a way to foster meaningful interaction that is essential to a commu­nity’s quality of life. 

People gain satisfaction by communing with those they value—and spaces that are aesthetically pleasing are an important aspect of that experience. We propose schoolyard master plans with features that would increase the sense of ownership by the school and the community:

  • “rooms” that bring kids and the community together, during school hours as well as in the evening, on weekends, and during summer months.
  • new school entrances that serve as portals to welcome students and neighbors alike.
  • designated areas with seating, ideal for small, spur-of-the-moment gatherings as well as community events.

When neighbors become invested in taking care of the schoolyard, as an amenity, this in turn eases the burden on parents as well as the school district to handle all of the maintenance. Active spaces also become safe spaces, which can be an important consideration in some urban areas.

Examples of our work

The images below show designs for several schools that devise new spaces for members of the school community to gather. 

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When planning and designing a schoolyard that encourages gathering, consider these elements:

  • community space
  • cultural elements
  • stage/amphitheater
  • shade structure/trellis
  • seating
  • gateway/threshold
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