School children design and build a green den with moving walls for the allocation of hulls



Matt + Fiona architectural educators worked with students from Hull to design and build a classroom with swing walls on their plot.


The Green Wood Pavilion was created as part of the Made in Oakfield project, designed by architect Matthew Springett and educator Fiona MacDonald.

It enabled students aged 11 to 16 from the Oakfield Residential - which is aimed at students who struggle in general education - to design and build a learning space for the attribution of Only seven days.


"Self-constructed education projects allow young people to realize that they can not only be involved in decision-making that shape our cities but literally create places within them," MacDonald told Dezeen.

"This is especially important for the young people of a school like Oakfield," she added. "It is aimed at students who have failed in general education and need a specialized educational offer to meet their complex social, emotional and mental health needs in order to succeed."


The design was developed in an open workshop, where students explored ideas through model making. A clear request has emerged for a structure that could serve both as an open learning space and a closed "snug". The children also wanted a high-level window so they could look at the attribution.

Matt + Fiona worked to incorporate these ideas into a design that could be realized in a week by a team of students and volunteers.


"Just a week to build a building five meters high without prefabrication and a young workforce, especially amateur, was a bit ambitious!" Said MacDonald.

"But there was an incredible camaraderie on the whole, half of the school's teachers having finished the final evening to help finish on time."


The last hangar-shaped building has a single-height roof with four large swinging counterweight doors. These can be locked at night but, when open, provide a roof for the deck outside.

At one end of the building is a watchtower, also with a mono-pitch roof, which faces in the opposite direction.


The plywood enclosure has a green rubber paint skin that has provided a watertight shell with a quick and simple application. The Oakfield team also planned to install solar panels and rainwater harvesting, now the building is completed.

Ste Sunners, a professor at Oakfield School who runs the project, said he had a significant impact on the students involved.


"The students of Oakfield have had a great amount of fun and enrichment of the great construction," Sunners told Dezeen. "We have seen their confidence, self-esteem and enthusiasm for horticulture grow accordingly."

Made in Oakfield is part of the No Limits initiative - the educational component of the Hull City of Culture program - and is located on a plot in Portobello Street, east of Hull. It was given to the school by the council six months ago to allow students to take a break in the school environment through gardening.


Other recently completed projects in schools in the UK include the Asif Khan high wooden play area for a primary school in East London and a dining room with a rainbow color facade For a school in Buckinghamshire.

The photograph is by French + Tye, unless otherwise stated.