A Fun-Filled School for Kids With Special Needs

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For a primary school in the Netherlands, designer Ineke Hans has carved out curiosity islands in the hallways and filled them with displays and bookcases that kids love to explore. 

In De Windroos, a school for children with concentration problems in the Netherlands, the classrooms are designed to limit stimulation. So, Ineke Hans worked with the administration to make the hallways more fun filled. That way kids get a a chance to be creative and explore extracurricular reading and learning, and participate in a multi-sensory experience that can prepare them for the world outside.

Giant plywood sculptures shaped like paper cutouts animate the hallways, which Hans has envisioned as curiosity islands. These skeletons, rabbits, dinosaurs, witches and jester’s tricorn hats are like billboards for the real treasures found inside the bookcases – filled with fairytale and adventure books, as well as other great stories – and showcases, which explore various themes, including nature, in little vignettes featuring stuffed animals and other small objects. There are also interactive display cases wherein kids can show off their self-portraits, and classrooms can put on exhibitions.

The palette is a soothing white and blue, so even with all the great book bins to rummage through and display areas to explore, kids can still relax at one of the upholstered seats and read a book. The overall design shows a sensitivity for these kids’ needs, and a respect for their intelligence and imaginations.

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