The complex structure of the city is composed of different fragments that are spatially adjacent, or even spatially superimposed. There are certainly developments which is to be subjected as a procedure for producing some new typologies. Due to their individual character they offer a richness of urban textures and make possible new social behaviors and interactions while working as functional additions to the urban tissue. Following this idea, we will deal with the analysis of school typologies and animal-housing units in zoological gardens.

According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one’s education depends from three instructors: nature, men and things.  The inner growth of our organs and faculties corresponds to nature; the use we learn to make of this growth is the education of men; and what we gain by experience what surrounds us is the education of things. In the urban context, nature is a scarce ressource existing only as an artificially created oasis. Nevertheless, the density and the urban qualities of a city allow a never ending of new situation. For this reason, and provoked by the ideas of Rousseau, we consider the city as a laboratory to develop new typologies and to combine existing resources in order to create a new definition of learning in and with nature.

Based on the observation of artificial nature, the research will propose new spatial configurations of learning units and explore potentially new school typologies. Above all, it is about linking two existing typological models – school and animal-housing units – in the zoological garden and address a new hybrid learning landscape. The central theme of the studio will be the design of a school building within the existing complex of Berlin’s Tierpark. In order to create a consistent architectural project, we will focus on different degrees of precision, scales and atmospheres with a range extending from large public spaces to intimate private ones. To approach this complex task, we will start the semester by developing and establishing a collective database that will serve us throughout the following design process.