Global design practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have created a modular pop-up classroom in response to COVID-19. Called School/House, it was inspired by its traditional single-room namesake and responds to the key challenges of density, air circulation, and flexibility in schools. The rapidly deployable classroom system addresses social distancing, health, and safety during the pandemic while also provides learning space during renovations or rapid growth.
The School/House design features high ceilings, views to the outside, enhanced airflow systems, and easily sanitized finishes, as well as integrated technology for hybrid teaching and learning. As the team states, "it can be deployed rapidly on any flat surface, in both rural and urban contexts, and in multiples, should a school need to rapidly grow its footprint to give students in-person learning without compromising their health."
One School/House consists of 7 foldable, flat-packed panels for minimal assembly time. It measures 36'x42' to accommodate a class size of 25 at a 6’ distance to satisfy CDC criteria for social distancing, or up to 50 students at a typical classroom density. In turn, a raised floor system provides air and power for each student, while the airflow direction is reversible providing flexible operations depending on contaminant removal requirements in the breathing zone. Beyond this, the design can become an interconnected group of classrooms and outdoor spaces depending on the need.
News via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill