Monday, 13 September 2010
I have spent some time looking at school external spaces recently and really been shocked at how little provision there is generally for students to sit and socialise as decent human beings without having to stand in rather grotty corners of playgrounds. All too often, if there has been seating in playgrounds, it has been a random collection of odd benches or the rather generic (and often wobbly) picnic benches of dubious vintage, complete with numerous splinters and remnants of good knows what, dumped randomly around.
External spaces need to be designed just as carefully as the interior, allowing numerous activities to be possible without preventing those simply want to sit and chat. Simply plonking stuff down just does really not do. Seating should look as though it is designed to be there and should wherever possible be of great quality, matching other external furniture such as bins, tree guards, other seating etc.
A fabulous example I have seen in a school recently is illustrated in the photographs above and below. This space and furniture looks as though care and attention to detail has been considered - and the quality of the furniture is first rate.
With such a tight demand of external spaces, this attention to detail is important for every school and its community. Whilst the furniture in the photographs looks expensive, it does not have to be, external spaces just need to look like some one cares about the students when they are outside. It really does make a difference!