As if learning in the classroom weren’t challenging enough, school renovations can disrupt teachers who are trying to teach and kids who are trying to learn. Too often during a renovation project, students are displaced into shaky mobile-home-style classrooms and/or packed into gyms and music rooms.
Recent Oregon graduate Kris Celtnieks has an answer for these problems. His full-size pre-fabricated temporary school building would be a middle ground between stable, permanent space and the shanty feel of mobile classrooms. His buildings would be quickly assembled on vacant spaces near schools under renovation, providing learning-friendly space with good acoustics, pleasant lighting, and a solid framework. They could be quickly configured to the site and sized for enrollment. When renovations are complete, they could be disassembled and infinitely reused. As conceived, they feature a fabric roof, adjustable microclimate, and a self-contained waste-processing system.
“While it’s wonderful to recondition historic schools, the side effect is displacing children – and teachers – into inadequate learning environments,” says Celtnieks, a son of two teachers, who just earned his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon. “My goal is to make the transition period, which can be a matter of years, a positive experience for students and faculty.”
Celtnieks calls this vision, the subject of his master’s thesis, the “Relief School of Philadelphia.” And it’s the winner of GRAPHISOFT’s Architects Jury 2010 competition.