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Britain's New Baseline School Design Sacrifices Style for Savings

Britain's Education Secretary Michael Gove and the Department for Education have released blueprints for the baseline design for schools that they believe "demonstrate good practice that can be achieved within [a] set cost and area allowances." The government's goal is to reduce the cost of new school buildings from the previous £21m to less than £14m each for the replacement of 261 of the most run-down schools in the country.

These new schools, however, will be 15% smaller than the ones designed originally under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) program, potentially compromising important spaces such as corridors, assembly halls, canteens and atriums. Many teachers have expressed concern for these changes, as they could lead to congestion, bad behavior among students and would "undermine attempts to maximize the value for money of school buildings by making them available for community functions after hours."  

Architects and the architecture community at large are also worried about the design implications of such a standardized school building prototype - how will it interact with the existing school buildings and how could restricted design affect Britain's educational system?

More after the break...

Video: 227 Flat / OODA

Lygia Pape Gallery / Rizoma Arquitetura

  • Architects In Charge: Thomaz Regatos, Maria Paz
  • Localização: Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Project Team: Virgínia Paz, Inácio Luiz, Sara Fagundes
  • Project Area: 440.0 m2
  • Ano Do Projeto: 2010
  • Fotografias: Clarissa Lanari, Tomaz Vello, Cortesia de Ttéia 1C, 2002 Fio metalizado Copyrights © Projeto Lygia Pape

© Clarissa Lanari © Tomaz Vello © Tomaz Vello © Tomaz Vello

Patrick Vale: City Lines Exhibition

Patrick Vale, a name you might recognize due to his well-known time-lapse film, 'Empire State of Pen', that went viral last summer, will be opening up 'City Lines', his very first solo exhibition at the Coningsby Gallery in London from April 4-12. Vale, a London-based illustrator, artist and animator is a great example of how you can take your passion and talents and turn it into something that can be shared around the world. Capturing the public's imagination with his film by clocking up to 700,000 plays in a few weeks, his intricate portraits of cities will now be on display. The large and highly detailed freehand drawings render the history and drama of our cities and invite us to peer into the fabric of the place. More images and information after the break.

Albatross / BGD Architects

© Remco Jansen
© Remco Jansen
  • Architects: BGD Architects
  • Location: Mermaid Beach, QLD Australia
  • Architect In Charge: BGD Architects, Bayden Goddard, Peter Fraser, Ion Chiet, Aaron Beattie
  • Interior Designers: Sonia Hill, BGD Architects, Edge Design & Interiors, POD (FF&E)
  • Structural Engineering: Cozens Regan Williams Prove
  • Lighting Design: Tony Dowthwaite
  • Area: 1500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Remco Jansen

© Remco Jansen © Remco Jansen © Remco Jansen © Remco Jansen


Brutalism. It’s the architecture movement that the public loves to hate, and architects dare to love. It’s also the latest topic tackled by CLOG, the quirky publication that takes a long slow look at what’s important in architecture now. 

While Brutalism, a movement that reached its height in the 60s, may not seem a timely topic, nothing could be further from the truth. With Brutalism’s monolithic beasts reaching their not-so-golden golden years, the question to re-model (often prohibitively expensive, considering these projects’ complexity) or just demolish (as the public often begs for) is an urgent one - as the recent preservation debates over Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Building (successful) and Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women’s Hospital (not) reveal. 

However, while this edition of CLOG of course mentions these debates, Brutalism shines in exploring the bigger questions these debates provoke: Why is Brutalism so loathed? What is it, really? And - can Brutalism be saved? Should it be? 

Fukasawa House / MDS

  • Architects: MDS
  • Location: Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect In Charge: Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura
  • Area: 94.82 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura

© Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura © Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura © Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura © Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura

Readers! Do employers put a lot of weight on what university you attended or on your portfolio?

ArchDaily Facebook Poll
ArchDaily Facebook Poll

A few weeks back, we at ArchDaily conducted a poll on Facebook to get a feel for what our readers think about their architectural educations.  The question we asked: "Do employers put a lot of weight on what university you attended, or is it mostly about your portfolio?" had some promising results.  There is a lot of cynisicm ciruclating in the professional world about what a degree from a particular university means.  There are circles were some universities or some degrees are valued over others.  Really though, we hope that it comes down to what each candidate can bring to a potential employer. 

Follow us after the break for more.

Ambassadors Residence / Kristin Jarmund Architects

  • Architects: Kristin Jarmund Architects
  • Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Project Team: Kristin Jarmund, Graeme Ferguson
  • Area: 880.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Ashesh, Swati Pujari

© Ashesh © Ashesh © Ashesh © Swati Pujari

Ailereve / Yasui Hideo Atelier

  • Architects: Yasui Hideo Atelier
  • Location: Kochi, Kochi
  • Architect In Charge: Yasui Hideo Atelier
  • Area: 18202.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier

Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier Courtesy of Yasui Hideo Atelier

Clemson University College of Architecture / Thomas Phifer and Partners

  • Architects: Thomas Phifer and Partners
  • Location: Clemson University-Sikes Hall, Clemson University, 201 Sikes Hall, Clemson, SC 29631, USA
  • Project Team: Thomas Phifer; FAIA, Eric Richey, Robert Chan, Katie Bennett
  • Associate Architects: McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
  • Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Mechanical Engineer: Talbot and Associates
  • Landscape Architects: Pond and Company
  • Civil Engineer: Dutton Engineering
  • Environmental Consultant: Transsolar Inc.
  • General Contractor: Holder Construction
  • Area: 55000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Scott Frances

© Scott Frances © Scott Frances © Scott Frances © Scott Frances

A house in Fujimi-cho / Méga

© Hiroshi Ueda
© Hiroshi Ueda
  • Architects: Méga
  • Location: Hiratsuka-city, Kanagawa, Japan
  • Architect In Charge: Dai Nagasaka
  • Project Team: Méga (Dai Nagasaka, Ikue Tanaka)
  • Area: 170.83 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Hiroshi Ueda

© Hiroshi Ueda © Hiroshi Ueda © Hiroshi Ueda © Hiroshi Ueda

House in Hanoura / Fujiwarramuro Architects

© Toshiyuki Yano
© Toshiyuki Yano

© Toshiyuki Yano © Toshiyuki Yano © Toshiyuki Yano © Toshiyuki Yano

UCLA’s cityLAB at the School of Architecture and Urban Design

Backyard Homes Conceptual Rendering, image courtesy Daly Genik Architects
Backyard Homes Conceptual Rendering, image courtesy Daly Genik Architects

What makes an architecture school worth consideration are its special programs and initiatives. These programs, often run by a few faculty members, vary from addressing human rights and legal issues to working with local communities to remedy social and economic issues.

UCLA's Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) school has just such a program. Called cityLAB (not to be confused with the student-run, science-based UCLA CityLab), it is in many ways unique to a university setting. Run by founder/director Professor Dana Cuff and co-directed by Professor Roger Sherman. It’s name is well-suited: a laboratory to test ideas and address issues arising from city conditions in ways that cannot be done by profit-driven firms. These issues include housing, commercial revitalization, and community and municipal collaboration. These projects have operated successfully on grants that support not just the work being done by the professors, but by staff and Graduate Student Researchers who are paid to work in all aspects of the projects.

Centro De Interpretación De La Agricultura Y La Ganadería / aldayjover

© Jordi Bernadó © Jordi Bernadó © Pedro Pegenaute © Jordi Bernadó