The Children`s Guild, Transformation Station: An Experiential Learning Environment

Baltimore, Maryland

Educational program requirements included designing an innovative learning environment for students with special needs. The Children’s Guild of Baltimore serves 100 elementary and middle school students with behavioral problems and emotional disabilities.

The designers altered the two-story building to reflect the guild’s approach to teaching, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMNancy Scheinman, Exhibit Design, Installation and MuralsCOST PER SQ FT$50.00FEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon AreasSUB CATEGORYSpecialized Education, a philosophy that uses an integrated curriculum and environments that engage the senses. The centerpiece of the redesigned school is Transformation Station, a new way to use common areas that features an interior streetscape with a child-size art museum, animal sanctuary, newsstand, city hall and school store. Colorful hallways and kiosks, classroom displays, extensive use of murals, a new kitchen, a cafe with changeable themes, a refurbished gymnasium and a new administrative office suite also were created.

The design is inspired by the jazz paintings of Beauford Delaney, one of the premier African-American painters. Delaney painted scenes of jazz musicians and urban squares in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. Transformation Station is created in a non-literal way in the manner of the painter’s eye, to inspire students to see the color and vibrancy in the city and in the school.