Rita Tornallyay: School Without Walls


School Without Walls’ ambition is to connect school activities to the surrounding community

Goal & objective
What if schools were part of the community instead of walling them off, while also promoting open-ended learning environments that are enriching and stimulating? The proposal aspires to become an inclusive civic building that offers clients, users and citizens the chance to work, create, experiment, play and learn collectively and share skills, knowledge and common passion based on the notion of ‘learning by doing’. School Without Walls’ ambition is to connect school activities to the surrounding community, forging links between learning and the ‘real-world’ as well as making better use of the resources the city offers. 

School Without Walls breaks down physical and programmatic boundaries between traditional schools and the surrounding city. Learning becomes flexible, permeable and accessible to all at any time. It spreads across the city, facilitating location-specific learning spaces, using the city as a campus. 

The inclusive and civic school becomes a community asset, and the learning it offers, a driver for Hackney’s prosperous future. School Without Walls extends its educational approach beyond its client and users for a city-wide network of engagement ultimately weaving lifelong learning into the city’s culture and fabric. Its mission is to shift from project to practice-based learning and to offer learning spaces for exploration, improvisation and deep collaboration to narrow down the existing societal divides and to create long-lasting relations for London’s residents. 

Site location
38-46 Orsman Road, London Borough of Hackney, N1 5QJ 

Project size
Overall site: 9,000 sqm
Focused site: 2,000 sqm 

Department of Education