'In-between' spaces in postwar primary schools: a micro-study of a 'welfare room' (1977-1993)

Clark, Alison (2010). 'In-between' spaces in postwar primary schools: a micro-study of a 'welfare room' (1977-1993). History of Education, 39(6) pp. 767–778.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0046760X.2010.514297


What narratives may a micro-study within a school reveal about past lives, roles and design? What traces may be contained within a single room? This paper focuses on an oral history of a 'welfare room' in a postwar Infants school as told by a welfare assistant. The school is an early example of school designed by Mary (Crowley) Medd opened in 1949. Mary, together with David Medd, was to play a significant role in postwar school design through their work at a local authority level, particularly in Hertfordshire and more widely at a national and international level through the Ministry of Education Architects and Building Development Group (1949-1972). This study, part of a wider investigation of three of the Medds' postwar schools, reveals three features of architectural intention lived out in the habitation of the space. There is an attention to the 'in-between' as part of a reconfiguring of learning spaces, to comfort and care linked to design, which promotes growth, and to craftsmanship.

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