Berlin Metropolitan School - Spaceoasis

Berlin Metropolitan School

At first glance Berlin Metropolitan School, in old East Berlin,
may appear an unlikely home for forward-thinking minds…

But behind its traditional, solid façade is a progressive K-12 school where students enjoy a modern and contemporary curriculum that culminates in the IB. With a sliding scale of means-tested fees BMS welcomes students from a broad social demographic; it might be elite, but it’s definitely not exclusive.

Wanting to expand but restricted by its city centre location the school embarked on a visionary extension in an upwards trajectory, adding two floors. BMS approached Spaceoasis because they could find designers who couldn’t do furniture and furniture companies that couldn’t do design, but were struggling to find a company that could do both.

"Berlin Metropolitan School approached Spaceoasis because they could find designers who couldn’t do furniture and furniture companies that couldn’t do design, but were struggling to find a company that could do both.”

An evolution in learning approach

BMS is looking to evolve its teaching and learning, moving away from ‘chalk and talk’ to a more open, collaborative approach where learning is a shared endeavour. In the English department in the senior part of the school, they built five new rooms and wanted them to be a blank, but high-functioning, canvas for this new approach to learning. The idea was that these rooms would not be ‘owned’ by a teacher or a class but open to all to use them as they saw fit.

The larger rooms feature standing-height workbenches with LearningSurface® writable tops and high stools, mobile Bite tables, also with LearningSurface®, with individual chairs and magnetic LearningSurface® wall boards. Ideas can be unpacked anywhere in these rooms encouraging active participation from each and every student. With their high ceilings and large windows, they are flooded with light providing a superb learning environment.

"The idea was that these rooms would not be ‘owned’ by a teacher or a class but open to all to use them as they saw fit."

Standing height Learningsurface® workbench.
Black gloss LearningSurface® Bite tables, for use with chalk pens, in the Brainstorming and Ideas rooms where students can work independently.
Light-filled classrooms provide a superb learning environment.

The writing’s on the wall

In addition to the English faculty rooms, there are two rooms – a brainstorming room and an ideas room – intended to be left un-timetabled. These rooms, which are also used by older students for independent study, feature stunning black gloss Bite tables which can be written on with a suspended chalk pen, along with Agile LearningSurface® screens that can be moved around and LearningSurface® wall boards. The grey, white and black colour palette makes these rooms a sophisticated haven for individual study or small group work.

As the school and its students begin to evolve their teaching and learning practice in these bright new rooms, other departments are trying them out too, taking that first step towards a collaborative new future where writing on the walls is positively encouraged.

Writable Learningsurface® walls provide a blank canvas for ideas.

"We designed these spaces to enable free thinking, with a flexible layout that doesn’t dictate how the space should be used. It’s a layout that gives the students a degree of agency and builds their autonomy, which the IB curriculum also encourages.”