The existing main courtyard of the school is leftover space between earlier building expansions. It has been underutilized and provides no space for students and staff. The school principal has a vision for this courtyard as a place for open air classroom and student gathering as well as a place for lunch with sun.
Knowing this, CHP Architects developed the landscape concept, “From backyard to living room” Overall, the courtyard is designed as a programmable place for vegetable gardening, outdoor classroom, student gathering, and evening functions for staff and parent groups.
The courtyard has three distinct areas based on exposure to sun, a vegetable garden, student gathering area and a retreat. A vegetable garden is located at the furthest north for maximum sun exposure being away from the shade by building overhangs. Student gathering area is laid in the middle. Concrete seat walls, which sit on the lawn, provides various siting configurations to encourage informal dialogues among students and staff. Also, an over-scaled dining table provides a place to sit, eat and chat. A retreat is in a circular form with raised seat walls and located in the shade of building overhangs. Bounded by planting beds, it creates quiet and intimate environments. These areas are tied by multiple pathways in gravel, flagstone, timber, bark mulch, concrete paver, and concrete.