For younger children, for whom tactility, physical interaction, and dynamic attention are essential, architects and engineers must offer alternative solutions in designing the classrooms of tomorrow. In this setting, Agencie designed an Early Education Center at Primary Prep, a transformative education startup based in New Jersey.
The founders of Primary Prep anchor the curriculum in interactive and immersive play, partially countering the fully digitized teaching format of recent months as they believe that engaging activity crystallizes learning. Agencie’s design approach has been to create uniquely themed spaces that students migrate through on a rotating calendar during the week, reducing touch points across the facility and implementing critical recommendations by the ASHRAE on air filtration and purification.
Students migrate between differently-themed rooms on subsequent school days, allowing time in between day sessions for cleaning and maintenance. The premise is that aligning educational topics to the theme of a room is both stimulating and safe for students and staff.
The heating, cooling, and conditioning strategies for the school serve as an exemplary case study. Mechanically speaking, the school has discreet sector zones, with dedicated fresh air intake, ionization filters, and energy recovery ventilators servicing each respective zone. While this increases equipment requirements and cost and complicates coordination across disciplines (sprinkler, lighting, and sound requirements), it is a proactive and necessary solution to mitigating aerosol distribution of germ-contaminated air across the different cohort groups. In preparing for the new realities of schools, we encourage you to consider some of the innovative tools deployed by Agencie at Primary Prep to create interactive environments that promote mental and physical growth.