Bezos Learning Center Design, a New Trend in Design Thinking for Learning Environments
Share This Article
Images by Perkins &Will and National Air and Space Museum
Designing a learning center as an architect can be something very interesting if you understand the need for a new system for education in the digital age. In general, most learning grounds are just designed to serve the purpose of education. But there is more to it, because learning environments are getting smarter in line with the modern technology and aspiration that now creates excitement around education. This exclusive design, proposed by a global inventive design thinking architectural firm known as Perkins & Will is something to take a good look at as a reference point in your design thinking for similar projects. Perkins & Will has been chosen to design the Bezos Learning Center at the National Air and Space Museum, one of the Smithsonian’s most popular institutions according to Designboom website.
The firm was selected among five other shortlisted firms based on unique essential factors like its vast experience in cultural and educational spaces design, well qualified management team and its uncommon aesthetic approach to design. The design for the Bezos Learning Center which is located on the prominent National Mall in the US capital, Washington, D.C. was inspired by the spiral shape of a galaxy, including learning areas, exhibition spaces, a public observatory structure and a restaurant. Comprising all these facilities, the project was inventively conceived to create an exclusive educational environment.
According to Ralph Johnson, the Design Director of Perkins &Will, and lead designer for the Bezos Learning Center conceptual approach and vision, as quoted by Designboom website, ‘The spiral galaxy, our source of creative inspiration is all about infinite possibilities.’ ‘We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum, and other key stakeholders to create a design that will inspire the next generation of air and space explorers while honoring the historical context of our National Mall.’
The learning center upon completion will be a place of exploration and exciting hub for learners, as the exclusive learning environment will encourage them to take on a journey of discovery through the vast realms of aviation and the universe. Placing focus on educating students on immersive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), the center is set to offer a range of multi-day experiences that transcend traditional classrooms. Within the center, learners will be able to have access to innovative spaces designed with collaborative advantage, creativity and hands-on learning. Non-traditional classrooms, collaboration hubs and a dedicated studio incorporated to provide the ideal environment for learners to engage with interactive workshops, take part in design challenges and showcase their work in dedicated display areas.
According to Bridget Lesniak, the Managing Principal of Perkins &Will, ‘As one of the largest and most visited aerospace museums in the world, the National Air and Space Museum influences millions of visitors every year.’ ‘The Bezos Learning Center represents the next major evolution of the museum’s mission, continuing a journey set in motion by the Wright Brothers almost 120 years ago. This is an exceptional opportunity to create a place that unlocks the potential of a new generation of explorers.’
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III stated that; ‘Having worked with the architects behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I understand how important a building’s design is to its mission, its functionality, its character and its ability to engage the people who enter its doors.’ ‘We look forward to working with the architects of Perkins & Will on the design of the Bezos Learning Center to produce another unique Smithsonian landmark on the National Mall that will expand and enhance our educational impact.’
Ahead of its scheduled opening date which is 2027, the Smithsonian will work hand in hand in collaboration with the project architect Perkins &Will on the design of the center with construction to begin in 2025.
Edited by MJ Buildace Magazine