scil on the road – the staircase

The staircase – move than just a way to get from A to B

I’ve been struck by the use of the staircase as a focal point, a meeting place and performance and gathering space. On this trip the scil team have visited Absolonskolon and Orested Gymnasium in Copenhagen and DOK Library Concept Centre in Delft.

In itself the staircase can be a very visually striking in its design and placement in a space. Think of the grand houses of a couple of hundred years ago, where a sweeping staircase rose from the cavernous foyer. Walking into these buildings, we appreciate the sense of light and space and being carried up to the next level all the while observing what was happening below and having the space to stop and talk along the way.

These three places, the two schools and the library have captured the significance of the staircase.

In both Absolonskolon and DOK the staircase is very wide and invites you up to the next level. It is a place where the community could gather and watch a performance.

At Orested the staircase is at the centre of the school and creates a wide arc, where people meet and can walk and talk. So much more than a way to get from A to B.

I was also reminded of the city buildings I’ve visited recently. At Challenger Financial Services in the city the lift brings visitors to the middle of the four floors of the business. The stairs are then deliberately used as the means of getting around the office… Two up and two down, quicker and easier than taking the lift and conducive for those important corridor conversations.

I’ve taken some photos, so visit to have a look.

What does it take to inspire, empower and equip leaders for world where change is the only constant? I am an educational consultant and PhD candidate with the ILETC Project at Melbourne University. I facilitate workshops and regularly speak in the areas of: People, Place and Pedagogy in the new paradigm Facilitating change Challenging current practice Learning space design Equipping leaders to navigate change International education context I am passionate about rethinking school and learning to inspire and equip young people for an exciting future. To contact Anne and find out more about the work of SCIL or make contact visit:

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