The Waltham Forest College refurbishment by Platform 5 Architects in cooperation with Richard Hopkinson Architects exists, as an old professor of mine would say, as ‘box within a box’. A layering of space and interjection of place works to develop a built analogue for the operation of learning. Ok, bear with me here- I propose that to learn, one must observe, whether it is passively or actively, some quanta or ‘packet’ of information as a first event. From that point, interest in whatever this ‘fact’ is, is piqued and a further exploration begins. From this point knowledge is gained. And this is a sort of stop and go, surge and recede process, always driven by those quanta. The knowledge is locked away in something- it must be worked at by those who desire it. Throughout, a physical embodiment of this ‘introduction in wait of interest can be read’- whether in a window set flush on an interior wall, encouraging a walk down the hall to look in; an information desk that seems to sit behind a viewing screen; or a glazed seminar box which hangs in defiance of gravity in the center of the main learning space, almost pulling you up the staircase to see what’s going on inside.

Courtesy of Platform 5 Architects

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