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LYCS Architecture Design School Inspired by A Child's Drawing

16:10 - 24 August, 2016
Courtesy of LYCS Architecture
Courtesy of LYCS Architecture

LYCS Architecture has released designs for Hangzhou NO.2 School of Future Sci-Tech City, a kindergarten, primary and secondary school complex in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. Encompassing 44,900 square meters, the design takes inspiration from a child’s drawing of his ideal school – a small town filled with child-scaled spaces and “happy” streets. The complex is broken up into 15 gabled volumes, which gradually increase in size and scale to accommodate the range of student ages.

Courtesy of LYCS Architecture Courtesy of LYCS Architecture Courtesy of LYCS Architecture Courtesy of LYCS Architecture +11

AD Classics: Jyväskylä University Building / Alvar Aalto

09:00 - 28 March, 2016
AD Classics: Jyväskylä University Building / Alvar Aalto, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Jyväskylä, a city whose status as the center of Finnish culture and academia during the nineteenth century earned it the nickname “the Athens of Finland,” awarded Alvar Aalto the contract to design a university campus worthy of the city’s cultural heritage in 1951. Built around the pre-existing facilities of Finland’s Athenaeum, the new university would be designed with great care to respect both its natural and institutional surroundings.

The city of Jyväskylä was by no means unfamiliar to Aalto; he had moved there as a young boy with his family in 1903 and returned to form his practice in the city after qualifying as an architect in Helsinki in 1923. He was well acquainted with Jyväskylä’s Teacher Seminary, which had been a bastion of the study of the Finnish language since 1863. Such an institution was eminently important in a country that had spent most of its history as part of either Sweden or Russia. As such, the teaching of Finnish was considered an integral part of the awakening of the fledgling country’s national identity.[1]

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +24

Liyuan Middle School / Minax Architects

20:00 - 8 October, 2015
Liyuan Middle School / Minax Architects, © Su Shengliang
© Su Shengliang
  • Architects

  • Location

    Wuxi, China
  • Project Team

    Lu Zhigang, Huang Yanbing, Cai Shumin, Fu Fei, Tang Zheren
  • Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Engineers

    Shanghai construction design and research institute co., Ltd
  • Landscape & Interior Architects

    Minax Architects
  • Client/Owner

    Wuxi Binhu District Bureau of Education
  • Area

    40800.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Su Shengliang © Su Shengliang © Su Shengliang model001 +36

Gain an International Perspective by Studying Architecture in Barcelona

19:30 - 26 May, 2015
Gain an International Perspective by Studying Architecture in Barcelona, Courtesy of UIC Barcelona School of Architecture
Courtesy of UIC Barcelona School of Architecture

UIC Barcelona School of Architecture has adapted to recent changes in the field of architecture to offer an education that provides an overarching perspective of the profession and the opportunity to learn a wide-range of skill sets. Learn more about what makes the school unique after the break.

Designing Security into Schools: A Special Report

00:00 - 4 February, 2014
Designing Security into Schools: A Special Report, A rendering of the New Utøya Project a redesign of Utøya Island in Norway - the location of a 2011 massacre. Image © Fantastic Norway
A rendering of the New Utøya Project a redesign of Utøya Island in Norway - the location of a 2011 massacre. Image © Fantastic Norway

When it comes to designing schools, security is always a big issue. This fact was thrown into sharp focus in December of 2012 after the Sandy Hook Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Last year, we featured an article discussing how design can deal with tragedy - both in order to prevent it and how to deal with the aftermath. Now, a report by Building Design and Construction investigates the measures that could prevent dangerous incidents. While they admit "it’s impossible to stop an armed madman who is hell-bent on killing", the report has a number of simple and sensible recommendations which aid in preventing and responding to a threat. You can read the report here.

Inter National Design Win Competition with Modular School Complex

01:00 - 17 January, 2014
Inter National Design Win Competition with Modular School Complex , View from Boulevard Strip. Image Courtesy of Inter National Design
View from Boulevard Strip. Image Courtesy of Inter National Design

Inter National Design (IND), based in Rotterdam and Istanbul, have won first prize in a restricted competition to design a large school complex in Viranşehir, Turkey. Five rectangular courtyards, together with five dynamic public strips, combine to envelop the collection of buildings with a variety of both neutral and dynamic voidal spaces. A degree of permeability with the city is designed into the scheme with the "two types of open spaces following a gradient using the buildings as filters from the hermetic façade of the courtyards to the permeable skins of the outer façade". Hills, pyramid stairs and areas of wild nature tie the atmosphere of the scheme into a unit within a "homogenous industrial roof profile and a modular structure".

Can a School Ensure East London's Olympic Legacy?

00:00 - 29 November, 2013
Can a School Ensure East London's Olympic Legacy?, Via CC Flickr User. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Via CC Flickr User. Used under Creative Commons

In this article for The Guardian, Oliver Wainwright reviews Chobham Academy, a new school built as part of East London's Olympic Legacy by architects AHMM. While he finds the school impressive and ambitious, Wainwright questions whether the campus, which acts as the 'fulcrum' between the poverty-stricken streets of Leyton and the high end flats of the former Athlete's Village, will be able to bring the two parts of this community together. You can read the full article here.

Makoko Floating School / NLE Architects

01:00 - 14 March, 2013
Makoko Floating School / NLE Architects, Makoko Floating School © NLÉ architects
Makoko Floating School © NLÉ architects

The 8 Things Domestic Violence Shelters Can Teach Us About Secure School Design

01:00 - 31 January, 2013
Flexibility within communal spaces stimulates and encourages a variety of uses. Project Name: Truman High School, a Federal Way Public School. Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.
Flexibility within communal spaces stimulates and encourages a variety of uses. Project Name: Truman High School, a Federal Way Public School. Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.

In our last Editorial, "Post-Traumatic Design: How to Design Schools that Heal Past Wounds and Prevent Future Violence," we discussed how architects must conceptualize school design in the wake of the tragic shootings that have affected our nation. Rather than leaning towards overly secure, prison-like structures, the Editorial suggested a different model, one better suited to dealing with student needs (particularly for those who have experienced trauma): domestic violence shelters.

While the comparison may seem bizarre at first, shelter design is all about implementing un-invasive security measures that could easily make schools safer, healthier spaces for students. To further elaborate this unlikely connection, we spoke with an Associate at Mahlum Architecture, Corrie Rosen, who for the last 6 years has worked with the The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence [WSCADV] on the Building Dignity project, which provides Domestic Violence Shelters advice to design shelters that empower and heal.

Find out Corrie Rosen's 8 strategies for designing schools that can improve security and student well-being, after the break...

Post-Traumatic Design: How to Design Our Schools to Heal Past Wounds and Prevent Future Violence

01:00 - 24 January, 2013
Rendering for the New Utoya Project in Norway, which will re-design the Utøya Island where the 2011 massacre took place. Image courtesy of Fantastic Norway.
Rendering for the New Utoya Project in Norway, which will re-design the Utøya Island where the 2011 massacre took place. Image courtesy of Fantastic Norway.

Over a month has passed since the Sandy Hook tragedy. Its surviving students have gone back to school, albeit at another facility (decorated with old posters to make it feel familiar), and are working on putting this tragic event behind them. The nation is similarly moving on - but this time, with an eye to action. 

The goal is obvious: to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again. The means, less so. While President Obama’s recent gun control policy offers some solutions, it’s by no means the only way. Indeed, opinions vary - from clamping down on gun control, to better addressing the root cause of mental illness, to even arming teachers in the classroom.

The design world has similarly contributed to the debate. A recent article in ArchRecord questioned how, in the wake of Sandy Hook, we should design our schools: “While fortress-like buildings with thick concrete walls, windows with bars, and special security vestibules may be more defensible than what is currently in vogue, they are hardly the kind of places that are optimal for learning.”Indeed, turning a school into a prison would be the design equivalent of giving a teacher a rifle. You would, of course, have a more “secure” environment - but at what cost?

As America and the world considers how we can move on after these traumas, I’d like to take a moment to consider what role design could play. If the answer is not to turn our schools into prisons, then what is? Can design help address the root causes of violence and make our schools less vulnerable to tragedy? If so, how?

Community-Oriented Architecture in Schools: How 'Extroverted' Design Can Impact Learning and Change the World

10:30 - 5 March, 2012
© Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design
© Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design

You’ve considered every detail: re-thought the spatial configurations of the classrooms to account for over 40 students, ensured that the noise from outside doesn’t drown out the teacher, perhaps even adjusted the storage to kid-friendly heights.

As an architect, you live in the skin of the people who will daily occupy your buildings. And of course, the impact of physical conditions should never be underestimated, especially in the design of a school. Study after study has cited that the correct environment can greatly improve student engagement, enrollment, and even general well-being. [1]

However, there is another vital way in which design can impact learning. An approach that recognizes the power of society and culture, that aims to create a school not only permeable to the community around it, but charged with positive symbolic value.

Education in a cave

12:30 - 2 April, 2009

With the right equipment, you can build a school anywhere. If you don’t think so, ask the children that goes every day to Mid-Cave Primary School. Built in 1984, this school sits in one of three caves inside a mountain.

Nowadays, it accomodates 186 students with a teaching force of 8 staff. Of course, this may not be the right conditions for a child to go to school, but personally, I think it’s better for a child to go and learn in a cave, rather that don’t go to school at all.

Seen at Chinese Lives. More images after the break.

2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom

11:30 - 4 February, 2009

The Open Architecture Challenge is an open, international design competition and is hosted every two years on the Open Architecture Network. This year, the challenge invites architects, designers, students, teachers and parents to propose the classroom of the future. Anyone can participate and the winner will receive $50,000 for their school.