New School

  • area / size 150,695 sqft
  • Completed 2017
  • Location Moscow, Russia,
  • Martela has designed the campus for the DAR Foundation’s innovative New School located in Moscow, Russia.

    The founders of “New School” are the real inventors. They are re-inventing the school: there is a theater with no classical seats; the laboratory has access to water, electricity, gas or compressed air from anywhere in the classroom; and the dining room is a real restaurant with a brilliant menu, wide choice of dishes and cozy tables which is always open, even on weekends. Lamps are regulated both by power and by heat of light from a special gadget; and music is accessed by pairing phones to audio speakers. The teacher’s table is equipped with an electric drive to work both while standing and sitting. The windowsills in recreation areas are wide and comfortable: you can study while looking out the window. This is really a new school in every sense of the word.

    School entrance group – There is a spacious entrance with a reception desk, behind which the administrator meets residents and guests of the school. The walk-in checkrooms for elementary and senior classes immediately separate the flow of incoming people: primary students go to the left; secondary students go to the right block.

    Typical classroom for elementary school – The classroom is designed for 16 people. For the first-graders, we have sustainable, ergonomic desks with a soft felt box for storing notebooks and books. There are several high cabinets in the classroom which provides a place for the teacher’s materials. Below are individual lockers for pupils’ personal belongings, so that each child has his own personal small locker. In each classroom, there is an interactive short-focus projector. We made two-layered curtains with an electric drive for clearly reading the image from the projector: the first layer is a translucent gray fabric for normal daytime work, and the second one is a blackout fabric, completely darkening the space – it is needed for working with the projector. We also have improved the quality of the sound from the projector or teacher’s computer by placing acoustic speakers in the ceiling.

    It was important for us to create a high-quality acoustic climate in the school. Therefore, we have chosen the Swedish ceiling systems Ecophon for the classrooms, which provide a high level of sound absorption in the room. As a floor covering we used German natural linoleum, which is made of linen fiber with the addition of coniferous resin and lime powder.

    Typical classroom for high school – For high school we used solutions similar to the premises of primary classes. However, we have introduced greater mobility with respect to furniture and equipment. We used work tables of different shapes (triangular, trapezoid, etc.) – so that they could be easily moved, blocked or even removed by stacking against the wall. The vandal-resistant countertop covering and reliable metal frame protect the furniture from damage during such rearrangements. Furniture solutions in the senior classes are light. White color is dominated in the decoration.

    Laboratory premises – It was important for us to build a real laboratory despite strict regulatory limitations that apply to schools. Therefore, we used an experience of the German company Hohenloner and built a unique system of secure access to all communications. There is a ceiling bus bar along the entire classroom that gives access to water, sewerage, electricity, weak currents, computer network and compressed air from almost anywhere in the classroom. This allows you to flexibly organize both individual work and work in groups. The laboratory hoods are also mobile – it can be transported to the different points in the lab; the hoods with a 360 degrees overview – means that any experience or experiment that we conduct using such a hood is available for viewing from any position.

    Laboratory lecture hall – This hall for invited scientists’ lectures, scientific experiments and performances is designed for students of several classes at once. The collapsible stage, transformable sofas-podiums allow to arrange a scientific interdisciplinary presentation for students of 3-4 classes at once. Special lighting will add additional decorative effects if necessary. All surfaces of walls are involved in exhibition projects. Separately, there is a speaker stand and a large laboratory table where you can watch the experiments.

    Theatre – The theater is a versatile public space used for plays, rehearsals, and other meetings as it stays open all day long. It is a multifunctional hall, which is adjusted to meet the needs of different groups of people. We abandoned the cumbersome theatrical chairs replacing it with soft steps of the amphitheater and pillows to make the space flexible. The sound-absorbing ceiling and wall panels selected based on acoustic calculation create a comfortable climate for watching movies and for performance, and for normal daily work. The theater hall is enclosed by a transparent glass wall, so the first things you see entering the school are the theater lights, action on the stage, generally, all the brightest, true and live.

    Sport facilities – We chose a German system Boen – multilayered engineering gym floor surface ideal for playing basketball and other sports. We chose an 8-meter climbing wall assembled from fiberglass relief panels which includes 510 hooks, 12 points of top insurance and 48 points of lower insurance. The school has another playroom for kids. The soft polyurethane floor covering with 10 mm mat is perfectly safe for running, falling and collision. Both sport halls are acoustically protected by special ceiling sputtering and sound-absorbing panels.

    Recreations and corridors – We built a school that could easily change. Color, light, music, furniture, navigation – everything moves, rebuilt itself. That’s for true! There in recreation, any pupil can adjust the intensity of lighting and warmth of light, controlling it from … the phone. We pre-lay the light scenarios and the coverage of the school radically differs in the morning and the evening one. Similarly, it’s easy to turn on the background music in any classroom – just connecting from the phone via Bluetooth to the speakers – no wires or complicated mixers. All furniture solutions are mobile – therefore it’s not difficult to organize the amphitheater’s stairs, or the stage, or the acoustically protected place for work with the tutor. Each cabinet is equipped with interactive navigation panels – so you can see what practice is currently conducting in the classroom, and you can book any free school premises from the phone.

    The cabinets with individual lockers are arranged throughout the school to store personal belongings. Now it is not necessary; to remember the locker’s number, or even more take the key to store it somewhere and be afraid to lose. Now it is enough to attach your card to any free locker and it will remember its “owner” himself, and then it will remind you where it is by flashing a green light on the facade. In a word, the “New School” is a smart school.

    Library – We have organized a system of mobile racks with electric drive for books storage. This makes possible to sort books strategically, to manage its movement, to ensure maximum efficiency in the storage area. But the library itself is designed for enjoyment of reading and communication. There are places for focused work (read a serious book, prepare for classes) and for joint activity – pillows, meeting tables for group work. Most of the furniture is mobile, on wheels, which allows you to create different interaction scenarios. There are the exhibition racks for books, transportable trolleys.

    Contractor: Monarch LLC
    Photography: Danila Gorjunkov