A Design Instrument for Schools
A first-class design manual for educational spaces, based on the ideas of Italian reform educator Maria Montessori: fundamental and practical, with case studies from Europe and tropical countries
1st edition, 2023
286 pages, 65 color and 62 b/w illustrations and plans
20 x 26 cm
The name Montessori is widely and inextricably associated with an entirely child-centered and careful pedagogy and education of children. Maria Montessori (1870–1952) was an Italian physician, reform educator, and philosopher whose ideas and work have remained influential throughout the world ever since the 1910s. Her educational concept covers the entirety of development from infancy to young adulthood. It is based on the image of the child as a “builder of his or her self” and therefore uses for the first time the form of open teaching and free work in a prepared learning environment.
Montessori schools became trendsetting educational institutions early on, and their concept is strongly reflected in their architecture and equipment. Montessori Architecture is the first book that comprehensively addresses architectural design, construction, and the use of materials in and the furnishing of educational spaces according to Montessori’s ideas. The book’s first part explores spatial and design principles that make up good kindergarten and school buildings. In the second part, nine case studies are featured in detail through photographs, plans, and concise texts. These examples are located in Europe (the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain) as well as in tropical countries (Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka). Thus, this highly illustrative volume offers practical advice and a wealth of information that is of utmost importance for the design of school buildings in general.
Steve Lawrence is a British architect and consultant on sports infrastructure, specializing in the architectural concepts of Montessori education.
Benjamin Stæhli is a Swiss architect and photographer who has also worked in Ethiopia and Singapore, and who has been engaged in architectural concepts of Montessori education for many years.