Classroom of the Future / LAVA

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Designed as a learning space for the future, LAVA‘s design focuses on an environment that is sustainable, integrates with the landscape, connects with the school environment, and is suitable for prefabrication and mass customization.  Relocatables are the decades old solution to changing demographics, remote community needs, and natural disasters. Unsightly, they are perceived as cheap and unpleasant spaces. This idea is upturned with spaces that are sustainable, practical, cost effective whilst making learning fun and exciting. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of LAVA

Mankind | Nature | Technology

With the rapid pace of information across the globe new opportunities are emerging for making connections between local, regional and global contexts. The classroom of the future uses this current technology revolution to position a space for learning at the nexus between knowledge and social interaction. The design anticipates the future by allowing classes to be subdivided in flexible clusters, which can continuously change. The teacher, rather than being watched like a black box theatre performance, is in the center of these clusters and moves around them. The system acts as an adaptable system instead of a fixed hierarchy.

Courtesy of LAVA

Sustainable Integration – Broad spectrum

Sustainable design extends beyond performance related solutions to the proposed method of prefabrication, selection of materials, symmetrical repeatable geometry, and small modular elements that are lightweight (able to be manually handled) and easily transportable on small readily available vehicles. The modular façade system, designed for each location, is manually operable and gives greatest flexibility for light and shade, enclosed space or open space, bringing the outside in or the inside out.

Courtesy of LAVA

Discovering the Future – a building that learns

Naturally informed geometry of the module provides a framework for present and future classroom configurations. Lightweight fabric separates a central space; this allows the classroom module to adapt to one large or three smaller spaces for learning – all connect to landscape or compatible contexts. Small and large class sizes are accommodated by the classrooms basic ‘three-axis’ geometry that allows the interlocking of each module to form large groups with smaller learning clusters. This results in the building itself learning how to adapt to future methods or learning and future modes of operation. The building at the same time educates the students about sustainability, social interaction, nature and technology.

diagram 01

Mass Customization – low cost, low carbon

Prefabrication will:
- Allow all building components to be prefabricated off site as complete elements.
- Floor and roof elements to be “sandwich panels”, designed to be easily maneuverable and connectable.
- Allow elements to be connected on site using simple connections, e.g. bolts or screws for structure.
- Minimize material waste, number of elements and construction time allow for stockpiling of classrooms for deployment at short notice to replace school facilities damaged by natural disasters.

diagram 02

A Future of Learning

Knowledge is a global resource that is shared through technology – a rapidly evolving entity. The future of learning will be through technology that is accommodated in a space that supports both human interaction and virtual discovery, a space that enhances opportunities for learning and allows remote locations to participate in the future of learning. This allows the future classroom to adapt to multiple sites, unusual configurations and topographies. A simple prefabrication telescopic system of posts supports the main structure and allows flat and sloping terrains to be accommodated; integrating the classroom in to the landscape. This adjustable system allows rapid installation and relocation when required. This cellular space for learning embraces a future that strengthens the connection between mankind, nature and technology.

diagram 03

The design received a ‘Jury Special Mention’ in the Australian Future Proofing School competition and was on show in December 2011 at the Wunderlich Gallery, University of .

Architects: LAVA
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Team: Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, Alexander Rieck
Partners: ARUP
Client: Future Proofing School
Status: Competition entry – commendation
Size: 60-180 sqm each
Date: 2011

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Classroom of the Future / LAVA" 30 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>