Architects Mariona Genís and Jordi Planelles and teachers Carme Cols and Pitu Fernández explained their experiences in this area.
The aim is to incorporate elements of school playground design into IBISEC projects to enable schools to adapt them to their educational project.
Professionals from the Balearic Institute of Educational Infrastructures, IBISEC, took part in a day dedicated to school playgrounds. The aim of this experience is that professionals with extensive knowledge of the subject advise IBISEC technicians to complete the designs of new schools taking into account the playground spaces, with a perspective that allows teaching teams to incorporate them into their school’s educational project.
In this regard, Antoni Morante, director general of Planning, Organisation and Centres, recalled that in 2016 IBISEC defined a model school centre that has been the basis for the new educational constructions that have been built since then. It is a model that has proven to be functionally efficient from a climatic point of view, with the incorporation of solar panels, insulating elements, arcades, etc. and the organisation of spaces, so that, on the one hand, it favours innovation and on the other sustainability, towards the goal of zero emissions. “Sometimes we are criticised for there being too much cement in the playgrounds, and although there is a state regulation that obliges schools to have sports facilities, we also think that there are a series of elements that can be left to the discretion of the schools so that they can adapt them to their educational project and use them differently so that the schools have a more multi-purpose option. We think that with this conference, in which there are a number of professionals with experience in this area who will advise IBISEC technicians, we complete a bit of this design that we started in 2016, on the one hand, the building with its own characteristics but, on the other, a new more flexible model for a space that educationally has more and more present as the school playground”.
Architects and teachers
The speakers at the conference are part of two initiatives that deal with aspects of educational innovation and the use of outdoor spaces. On the one hand, architects Mariona Genís and Jordi Planelles, from the Genís-Planelles Architecture studio, explained different projects in which they are involved in this field.
“The children’s and nature’s gaze cannot be absent from the playground,” said Genís. “There is no ideal space, each school is in a different place. There must be a diversity of spaces so that everyone can find their place. They have to be understood as an extension to the outside world and to the community”. The architect insisted on the fact that there are no single recipes and that we must try to avoid excessive planning and design. “It is a question of finding a balance so as not to build a theme park in which everything is planned, but rather, with simple, well-defined elements, to offer a minimum infrastructure that allows these spaces to be adapted to multiple possibilities”.
The conference was attended by retired teachers Carme Cols and Pitu Fernández, promoters of the website El Safareig on the internet, in which they explain the work they have carried out over the last few years accompanying many schools in the process of articulating their outdoor spaces. In this sense, Cols explained that children play no matter what, but the truth is that the playground has to respond to different places that allow everyone to meet. “There must be places to play, to do sport, to read, there must be tables of all kinds to encourage creativity, ephemeral and structural elements… and all children must be able to participate, as well as providing the tools needed by teachers, families and municipalities”.