Rain Room


Noa Wang

ARCH 501

As a threshold between Wesbrook Place and UBC Farms, the classroom is a transitional space that serves the uses of young children attending a farm school, and their senior instructors. Located at the main entrance to the farm, the project guides users from an urban to agricultural condition along the same path as rainwater as it travels through the building. While children learn about agriculture and their natural environment, rainwater is brought to the forefront of their attention, where it supports their passive learning experience from the classroom space itself. Entering the project, users first encounter a covered outdoor area with lattice fences and a gravel channel, where water convenes after falling from overhangs. The channel guides the water underneath and past the raised classroom, where it collects in a gravel play yard that lies just before farm grounds. Rainwater falling on the main roof of the classroom is also guided into this same space, which acts as a sandbox of natural processes for children to see up close. As the weather and seasons shift, students and teachers can observe and engage with the shifting nature of the gravel stream and yard as water and planting levels fluctuate. In this manner, the classroom acts as a place of entry and transition that bridges modes of indoor and outdoor learning.