Colourful booths enliven Hayarden school for children of refugees in Tel Aviv.
A house-shaped reading nook and colourful paintwork are among the playful features in this school for the children of refugees living in Tel Aviv, which has been overhauled by a team of local architects and designers.
The Hayarden school is designed for children aged 5 to 16, who predominantly live in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva Quarter – a working-class neighbourhood where there has been a surge in African asylum-seekers finding refuge.
The project focused on the ground floor of the building – which was originally built in the 1960s but had been left neglected for years – due to the limited funds. The team chose simple and cheap ways to add elements of fun into the communal spaces, lobby and corridors. An ecological garden and playground were also designed.
A series of geometric oak volumes housing tables, cabinets and upholstered benches are inserted into one of the corridors. These create cosy nooks for students to sit, study, read and play either in groups or in private. One volume is in the outline of a residence with a pitched roof, to further enhance the homey aesthetic. “School becomes a second home for these children who mostly don’t have the safe and intimate corner in their own home,” she said.