Maximizing space in addition to creating communal and private zones was at the heart of Daniel Valle Architects’ renovation for the German School Seoul International (DSSI). With an awareness of new pedagogical practices, the team looked to optimize the availability of shared spaces for teachers to facilitate the playing, studying and meeting of students. At the same time, the firm also understood that open, common areas for studying can be distracting or problematic if there is a crossover in activities.
To balance these contrasting needs, the space is divided into two classrooms that are surrounded by a common corridor and open area. Soft, green-cushioned walls allow for a rotation system that transforms a smaller, concentrated classroom into a bigger, playful classroom. The sponge-like partitions also serve as a storage unit for school supplies such as books and stationary to free the main space from clutter. To heighten productivity and improve the concentration of pupils, the upper part of the dividing wall is made from glass, which lets natural light flow through to the core of the room.