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."
Mixed programs and a variety of buildings are at the core of the school’s design. A kindergarten, middle and high school are all part of the complex, in addition to adoptive family housing, a cultural center, sports facilities, training workrooms, laboratories, and a library. The conglomeration of these various types creates a unique and centralized learning hub.
Fluidity between interior spaces and the outdoors is another component that CEBRA focuses on, given the school’s location 60km from Lake Baikal and its surrounding existing landscape. Public spaces have been incorporated into the arrangement of programs, and learning spaces cater to individual needs and styles with differing parameters. These include room sizes, furniture arrangements, lighting types and degrees of noise prevention.
Irkutsk’s innovative Smart School is set to be completed by September 1st of 2019, just in time for the beginning of the new academic year. It will function as “an incubator for ideas, technologies, projects and practices”, helping in the transformation of Russia’s education system and enabling a new generation of learners.
For more on the Smart School's vision, see here.
News via: CEBRA.
Denmark-based architects CEBRA have won a competition to design a Smart School educational complex in Irkutsk, Russia. Their winning design, dubbed Smart School Meadow, fulfills the competition's call for a new typology of school that combines architecture and landscaping into a learning environment and local community center.
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