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This is what a school for Ukrainian children in Warsaw looks like. XYstudio project

12 of May '22

In two months, one floor of a Warsaw office building was transformed into a school for children from Ukraine. What was prepared inside by the Open Schools Foundation and architectural studio XYstudio?


The school for children was created in two months

photo by Martyna Rudnicka

At the beginning of March we wrote about a school for Ukrainian children under construction in Warsaw's myhive Mokotow Two office building(see here). The design of the school was undertaken at express pace by Warsaw-based studio XYstudio. Creating a space for children who fled the war required a special approach.

We are acting out of concern for all children. For children from Ukraine, we want to ensure that they return to a minimum of daily routine as soon as possible. Contact with teachers, other students and the ability to communicate in their own language will give them a substitute for a sense of security and relative normality. Equally important is the fact that public schools in Poland's larger cities are sometimes overcrowded. We fear that if Ukrainian children join such establishments under mandatory districting, there will be insufficient space, literally and figuratively, to take care of the psyche of students of both nationalities and provide them with conditions for effective learning and integration," says Magda Garncarek, initiator of the Open Schools campaign.

w szkole uczyć się będzie prawie dwieście dzieci z Ukrainy

Almost two hundred children from Ukraine will study in the school

Photo: Martyna Rudnicka

The project began with Immofinanz handing over a floor of the building for the purpose of an educational institution. At an express pace, as after two months, the project was fully completed and the children were provided with decent conditions. The school turned out to be a fully grassroots initiative, in the implementation of which dozens of companies and volunteers were involved. What does a school for children from Ukraine in a Warsaw skyscraper look like?

A place for learning and relaxation

The interiors are dominated by soft, calm colors. The designers were primarily concerned with creating a friendly and pleasant space - one where the child can feel at ease and safe. The classrooms feature modern furniture and equipment, sourced from private donors.

The attention is drawn to the common room, where there are stationary bicycles, foosball tables, as well as poufs, pillows. A unique, colorful mural was created by Anna Wardęga-Czaja and Marcin Czaja.

w świetlicy zdecydowano się na duży mural

The community center decided on a large mural

photo by Martyna Rudnicka

Each of the classrooms has a different layout adapted to the age group, as well as a variety of colors in which the furniture and some of the equipment have been kept. On the walls you will find geometric patterns and illustrations conveyed by artists.

Separately, two rooms were also prepared for psychologists. This is extremely important so that children struggling with traumas resulting from the need to flee the bombed areas receive adequate assistance.

w szkole zdecydowano się na dwa pokoje psychologów

The school has decided to have two rooms for psychologists

photo by Martyna Rudnicka

a drop in the ocean

The school for children from Ukraine is a unique project because of the speed of execution, quality and the fact that it is a grassroots initiative. Thanks to the cooperation of the Opening Schools Foundation and XYstudio, more than eleven classrooms have been opened here, with a total of more than two hundred children.

Ukraine has been defending itself for seventy-eight days. During this time, more than three million people have arrived. The Ministry of Education and Science has been "throwing" Ukrainian students into the Polish education system, paying no attention to the greater difficulties and curricular differences facing the young people.

The ministry also failed for two months to prepare a universal bilingual visual identity that schools could download and use in their areas. Will everything have to continue to rely on grassroots community work?

labirynt językowy projektu kolektywu IPE

The language maze of the IPE collective's project

photo by Martyna Rudnicka

support for Ukraine

We would also like to remind you about the action of Designers_ci for Ukraine organized by NIAIU(see here) and the verified list of collections with Ukraine(see here).

For more information on the activities of the Open Schools initiative, visit their website(see here).

jedna z sal, w której odbywają się lekcje

One of the rooms where lessons are held

photo by Martyna Rudnicka

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

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