AP+E’s Hedge School Outdoor Classroom Brings Back 18th-century Teaching Methods

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2025

Architecture studio AP+E has created an amphitheatre of timber columns for use as an outside teaching space for a primary college in Carlow, Ireland (+ slideshow).

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

Named Hedge School, the pavilion was the winning design and style in a competition to develop an interactive framework ideal for all the pupils.

The title refers to Irish hedge schools from the 18th and 19th centuries, in which children have been taught outside surrounded by nature.

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

AP+E created the task to be educational and “a usable piece of art”, bringing in nature to aid create a stimulating outdoor learning setting.

“We generated the concept of an outside classroom for the college community that could also develop herbs, veggies and flowers,” stated AP+E co-founder Laurence Lord.

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

Hedge School is created up of a ring of thin wooden columns, linked by steel wiring and plant pots that are staggered at varying heights.


Related story: France’s Expo pavilion is a wooden lattice with plants and foods slotted into its crevices


The architects integrated vegetation into the construction to act as a teaching help. The pupils can grow their own foods and observe how the plants develop more than time.

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

A series of raised wooden platforms form seating around the majority of the circle, related to an auditorium. AP+E also developed the pavilion for outdoor performances and play time.

“We purposely wanted to develop a space that distinguished itself from the existing school and its orthogonal classrooms,” stated AP+E’s other co-founder Jeffrey Bolhuis. “The picked circular shape and growing and falling of the perimeter posts assures a different see from every method.”

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

The framework was developed employing plywood and steel wire, for durability and to comply with the rigid competition spending budget. “We wished to use sustainable and all-natural supplies that would age effectively in the external context,” extra Lord.

The all round visual appeal and architecture of Hedge College is created to consistently evolve.

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

“Part of the notion was that our intervention was a framework that would support plants growing the two on the inside and outdoors of the pavilion,” mentioned Bolhuis.

“The wire balustrade and ceiling detail allow for the creepers to grow up. As the plants develop the space of the pavilion will modify and turn out to be a lot more sheltered and green. Our layout would fade into the background of the plant life.”

Hedge School educational pavilion by AP+E studio

XTU Architects also made a curved wooden lattice structure to become a trellis for increasing greens, herbs and hops as component of Milan Expo 2015.

Photography is by Aisling McCoy.


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