Co-working giant WeWork is dipping its toes into education, opening a primary school last year focused on educating children through play and interacting with their environment.
Designed to suit a Montessori approach to teaching, the WeGrow school in New York is fitted out in natural materials and the furniture is inspired by natural elements such as stones and meadows.
A focus on “nature” is also one of the school’s six foundational principles, which involves a weekly visit to a farm outside the city to plant, harvest, and eat fruits and vegetables.
According to the school’s architect and chief architect of WeWork, Bjarke Ingels, “the nature theme is important here because in a city or in conventional architecture, everything is so compartmentalised and the use is very prescribed.”
“Whereas in nature, things have less of a label of how they’re supposed to be used. So they’re more open to interpretation and to multiple uses. You can sit under a tree, climb on a tree, eat from a tree. So the forms you have here still have an intuitive way of accommodating some of their primary uses, but they also have an openness,” she told Architectural Digest.
Students also have the opportunity to connect with mentors from the WeWork community.
Founding partner of WeWork, Rebekah Neumann, founded WeSchool and is also its chief executive officer.