Cleveland Design Competition Essay

1696 words - 7 pages


The project proposal for the Campus International School for Downtown Cleveland illustrates the transformation of Cleveland State University's master plan for converting the area into a dense mixed-use development and with recreation fields. The quotation ''an opportunity to re-evaluate the broader terrain in which children learn and give as great an emphasis on learning environments as others have given the educational philosophies'' formed the basis for our proposal.

A key aim of the design is to produce a safe learning environment for the students. The flexible classroom design and “street” layout of the school encourages different age groups of children to meet and learn together, while the main circulation space between the classrooms, student dining, media center and recreational spaces is an additional learning hub. The proposed plan layout avoids hidden corners and blind spots, and careful thought has been given to landscaping to provide different types of outdoor play space including areas for learning, planting, quiet zones and games. Each classroom has direct access to the outdoor playgrounds and views to the surrounding buildings.

The basis of the design is centered around four clusters of education: learning, growing, recreation, and social interaction. We believe these to be the foundations of the new school vision, allowing for a complex program where students can interact with each other and the city of Cleveland. Instead of opting for a linear and continuous distribution of these four clusters, the project design proposes a combined, more playful combination of spaces through the use of curves and organic shapes.

Our vision for the Campus International School is to establish an open learning environment as such that the site will be a landscape for future and extended learning. By creating an environment that will promote and sustain continuous learning, it will make learning a part of everyday life.


The first step at analyzing the surrounding context and immediate site conditions of the Campus International School was through a clear understanding of the future development of the area which is mainly focused on the new expansion plans for Cleveland State University.

Several observations captured our interests:
1. The new university campus seeks to create functional and visual links to the city by expanding the campus life as well as providing a network of green spaces along Euclid Avenue (the Euclid Ribbon).
2. The Euclid Ribbon will become the main artery of the new university campus.
3. There will be three campus sectors: the Academic Core, the South Campus and the North Campus.
4. The proposed school site is located along the North Campus Neighborhood which is mostly defined by sports fields, residential, green areas and parking.
5. There is a strong emphasis on maintaining and enhancing all green spaces.

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