The Walden School

Pasadena, CA

The design of this elementary school's play yards is intended to promote creativity, curiosity, educational opportunities, as well as bonding with and learning from nature. A natural ecosystem pond used in the science curriculum with an adjacent redwood deck and semicircular bench supports outdoor classroom activities. A water channel and magnetic water wall encourage play and experimentation with natural materials. A raised deck with log seating in a grove of existing eucalyptus trees has multiple uses including a stage, a socializing space, a protected building block area, or a quiet reading space. Built in adjacent storage units facilitate the transition in uses. A slate easel wall enhances the creative potential for outdoor art.