Project Ohm Ω
studio whispace + architects
studio whispace + architects
Wen-Chian Hu, Pei-Hsuan Jin
Yuchen Chao Photography
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION RESEARCH
Nanheps Elementary School is an experimental elementary school located in Miaoli County. The school employs a four-season curriculum plan, incorporating food and agricultural education, and provides a more diverse learning experience by housing retired laying hens.
The original chicken coop was situated within a makeshift enclosure, surrounded by abandoned concrete structures and haphazardly disposed of compost piles. Despite the school's beautiful Taiwanese raintree, the visual openness of the area was obstructed. The lack of clearly defined zones and convenient planning for school use resulted in students being less willing to enter the chicken coop.
As Louis Kahn said, "School began with a man under a tree, who didn't know he was a teacher, sharing his realization with a few who didn't know they were students." Suppose the essence of teaching and learning originates from shaded spaces where knowledge is shared.
In that case, we aspire to create an environment where teachers, children, and chickens coexist, sharing ideas beneath the canopy of trees. We relocated the chicken coop from a secluded corner to the heart of an open area, using a gently curved white metal fence to form a concave enclosure beneath the Taiwanese rain tree.
We've created an ohm-shaped chicken coop fence by connecting the towering trees, the food garden, and the composting area. Within this structure, children can closely observe the lives of the chickens and interact with them through chicken name cards, egg racks, and feeding. This fosters a deeper connection with life.
The plan is divided into the chicken coop, compost teaching, and herb cultivation areas. The chicken coop is designed for the hens' comfort and easy student maintenance. In the compost area, we've divided the bin into four compartments for different composting stages with observation holes for student monitoring.
The herb cultivation area focuses on edible herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender, and chrysanthemum for food and agri-education, enhancing the sensory experience in the environment.
To align with the school's year-round curriculum design, we have designed sunshade and rainproof activity canopies to reduce excessive sunlight exposure on the chicken coop, ensuring that the hens live in a comfortable environment.
In the evenings, these canopies accommodate the nighttime light club usage. The lighting design employs local indirect lighting to minimize the disturbance of artificial light in the ecological environment.
Additionally, we consider the chicken coop's enclosure as an interactive interface. The enclosure incorporates various interactive facilities such as feeding and watering areas, chicken name tag hanging areas, and egg rack interactions, among others, transforming the enclosure into a barrier and a new interface for ecological learning.
Significant changes have occurred in the student's behavior patterns through this renovation. The most significant change is their newfound willingness to get closer to the chickens, making caring for the chicken coop easier.
The fixed location for leaf pile placement during the school's weekly cleaning sessions has profoundly impacted students' life education.