The Schoolhouse

The Schoolhouse, Rapt Studio for Google

Kyle Minor Design, a building design company, helped to bring our ideas to life, fabricating the custom shelves, an entry installation, and the curtain structure.

The Google School for Leaders, a unique initiative within Google, helps executives develop not just the skill sets but the mindsets needed to lead effectively in the 21st century. Rapt Studio worked with The School to develop an experience framework for a new way of learning that’s tailored to each individual leader. As part of this effort, The Schoolhouse was born — a flexible, adaptable, and customizable space designed for in-person learning that shifts how participants engage.

Located at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, The Schoolhouse draws company leaders from around the world for classes, workshops, and training. Completed in July 2019 and at 830 square meters, it’s built to activate discovery and wonder through multisensory components that incite heightened engagement in order to optimize learning. Employing the principles of neuroaesthetics, it responds to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of each participant.

The space flexes in scale to accommodate the type of intimacy or openness the curriculum requires. The central room can divide into three parts with mechanical raised curtains made of white parachute material, selected for its ability to let light through while still maintaining privacy. Four large shelving units can pivot 360 degrees to change the focal points and shape of the learning space; they display vintage artifacts and oddities used in conjunction with the curriculum. Break-out rooms can be tailored via music, scent, light color, and light temperature. An outdoor area extends the learning space with an edible garden and flexible classroom.