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Schools

8 Excellent Examples of What Innovative 21st Century Schools Should Look Like

08:00 - 10 April, 2017

If we think about how the educational system worked in the past, we can quickly see that both the teaching style in schools as well as the school’s infrastructure were very different from the current system. The educational model of the twentieth century could be defined as being similar to the "spatial model of prisons, with no interest in stimulating a comprehensive, flexible and versatile education."

However, we are now at a time when social, economic and technological developments have created a more global society and where information and learning are becoming more affordable. This radical change has transformed the societies in which we live, leaving the current educational model based on a rigid and unidirectional teaching obsolete. 

As such, there are schools that have not only broken the mold of traditional teaching but have formed new educational standards, exploring new paradigms and opening up new possibilities within the design of educational spaces. Since architecture and educational models often reflect the ideology of a society, how is the school of 21st century defined? 

Vittra Telefonplan / Rosan Bosch. Image Hakusui Nursery School / Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop. Image Cortesía de Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop Kwel Ka Baung School / A.gor.a Architect. Image Cortesía de Agora Architects Farming Kindergarten / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki + 31

CEBRA’s Mixed Use Smart School Proposes a Rethink of Russia’s Education System

16:00 - 9 April, 2017
CEBRA’s Mixed Use Smart School Proposes a Rethink of Russia’s Education System, Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of CEBRA

With high hopes of contributing to the reformation of Russia’s secondary schooling system, construction has begun on Smart School, a planned 31,000 meters square educational complex in Irkutsk, Siberia, which combines multi-use educational facilities, outdoor learning spaces, and housing developments for adoptive families. Designed by Danish firm CEBRA, the project was the winning proposal for the school’s international competition back in 2015, beating 48 other firms, including MVRDV and Sou Fujimoto Architects.

“Based on the program and principles of Smart School, an architectural concept has been developed which integrates buildings, a plot of land and the surrounding urban community into a complete, diverse and activating learning environment, a ‘school park’, explain the architects. “There is school life not only in specialized premises but also in open areas inside and around buildings." 

Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA + 4

Neuman Hayner Architects Designs Conservatory in Israel Inspired by the Lines in Sheet Music

14:00 - 17 July, 2016
Neuman Hayner Architects Designs Conservatory in Israel Inspired by the Lines in Sheet Music , © Studio Bonsai. Courtesy of Neuman Hayner Architects
© Studio Bonsai. Courtesy of Neuman Hayner Architects

Neuman Hayner Architects, in collaboration with architect Gal Karni, has unveiled their proposal to a competition for a new music and dance school in Mevaseret Zion, Israel.

Five lines defining four strips, a frame of a story, a foundation for the creation... fertile ground for learning, a space for work, a stage for talent, a platform for infinite opportunities.

Courtesy of Neuman Hayner Architects Courtesy of Neuman Hayner Architects Courtesy of Neuman Hayner Architects Courtesy of Neuman Hayner Architects + 10

Knitknot Architecture Seeks Funds for Nicaraguan School

08:00 - 22 April, 2016

Knitknot Architecture, in collaboration with nonprofit group Seeds of Learning, has designed -- and is raising funds to build -- the El Jicarito School. Located in El Jicarito, a tiny village in Nicaragua, the school will serve 27 children who currently do not have a school to attend.

The low-cost school design aims to bring the community together through collaborative construction methods, the use of local materials, and the creation of a new educational landscape that will enhance creativity.

© knitknot architecture © knitknot architecture © knitknot architecture © knitknot architecture + 13

SHoP Reveals Plans to Build 50 New Schools in Nepal

06:00 - 23 December, 2015
SHoP Reveals Plans to Build 50 New Schools in Nepal, © SHoP Architects PC
© SHoP Architects PC

In wake of the April 25, 2015 earthquake in Nepal, SHoP has partnered with Kids of Kathmandu and Asia Friendship Network (AFN) to help rebuild 50 public schools in the hardest hit areas. The project will not only replace damaged schools, but also will raise the standard for public education in remote regions of Nepal.

In the hopes of providing a future model for non-governmental organizations, the design is a flexible system that is adaptable to different site conditions and available resources, and can be easily assembled.

Henning Larsen Architects Designs French International School in Hong Kong

06:00 - 2 December, 2015
Henning Larsen Architects Designs French International School in Hong Kong, © Henning Larsen Architects
© Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects has revealed the designs for its new project, The French International School, in Hong Kong. The 18,000 square meter school in the Tseng Kwan O district will be the fifth to arise in Hong Kong, and will house 1,050 students from kindergarten through middle school.

Not only will the project be a school, but it is also intended to become a center for French culture in Hong Kong. Thus, the campus will be open on evenings and weekends for public events like sports competitions, exhibitions, French May, and French cinematheque.

AR Issues: How Residential Development is Destroying London's Schools

09:30 - 24 October, 2015
AR Issues: How Residential Development is Destroying London's Schools, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this introduction to the October 2015 issue, Editor Christine Murray uses their recent school awards as incentive to discuss the plight facing London schools and (in timely fashion) asks "are we going to battery farm our children now?"

My son’s postwar school won’t win any awards for its design. I’d like to think that’s why they plan to demolish it. But the school faces a more sinister fate.

Hackney has its eyes on rising land values in this fast gentrifying London borough. It plans to demolish three primary schools, carving up the plots to build private homes for sale on designated education land. New schools will be rebuilt on a fraction of the original sites, some with twice as many pupils squeezed in.

Britain's New Baseline School Design Sacrifices Style for Savings

00:00 - 26 March, 2013
Britain's New Baseline School Design Sacrifices Style for Savings, Courtesy of Education Funding Agency
Courtesy of Education Funding Agency

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...