Education is a key part of the strategy to sustain economic wealth and quality of life in Panama city. Graduate student at Bartlett School of Architecture, Louise Bjørnskov Schmidt has proposed an ecological education facility constructed around a lake in a Panama rainforest as a respons to what she believes are challenges in the relationship between the two.
Panama’s economy is highly dependent on the Panama canal and the surrounding rainforest as the rainforest supply the continuos source of fresh water to the canal. Thus the knowledge on how to protect the rainforest from deforestation and creating a sustainable economic alternatives are crucial for Panama City’s future.
Bjørnskov Schimdt’s proposal suggests how the physical frames can take form as a learning landscape, a "learnscape." It introduces physical access to the surrounding nature and communication of the environmental resource in the public education. As a result the "learnscape" will promote environmental awareness by improving the existing education in Panama City by answering: how can space influence the learning that occurs within?
"By understanding the relation between space and how the mind learns, the tools are given to propose a new framework for a learns cape to improve the public education in Panama City," the designer explains.
The complex is developed as a circular bridge that extends around the lake. In an interview with dezeen.com Bjørnskov Schmidt explained; "the main concern of the learning path is to slow down movement, and make the path itself a means of experiencing the surroundings by stimulating the awareness of the relation between the city and nature."
The project is shown as a part of the Bartlett Summer Show.