Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Interior Design


Urban educational environments struggle to offer green space and natural light to their students. Studies have shown that exposure to natural elements, such as natural light, ventilation and vegetation improves student performance and concentration. The Waldorf School understands a child's innate need for natural learning; making it a natural choice when studying design options that integrating nature into the educational environment. The emphasis on nature based learning in the curriculum leads Waldorf to be the perfect school to test the boundaries of what is possible in urban educational environments. The project integrates nature into an urban adaptive re-use school environment, through use of natural lighting, access to green areas, and sustainable materials. The site is a total of 30,000 square feet, evenly separated between two floors and a roof garden. The site was built in 1923, as an automobile storage facility and straddles the boundary between an industrial neighborhood and a historic residential neighborhood. Through use of the Waldorf principles and architecture, an educational environment infused with natural rhythms and access to nature will be realized. Through the research conducted on various site, program and process case studies, investigation of architectural options and a thorough understanding of the needs of a Waldorf school, the project develops a prototype to be used in other urban schools.The work considers the possibilities in urban educational environments to integrate natural elements in the architecture for the benefit of students and teachers; creating a design example for both Waldorf and public educational environments.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

davenportca_thesis_pt2.pdf (14932 kB)
part 2 of thesis