Diamond Schmitt and MVRDV have unveiled the design for a new building for the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus. The new addition, featuring laboratory spaces, classrooms, and offices, aims to function as a communal and gathering space for the community. The functions are distributed around a five-story atrium that opens toward the exterior on both sides of the building and establishes a destination point within the pedestrian flows of the campus. Solar panels integrated into the façade help power the building, while the warm finishes of the interior contribute to creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Education Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
Environments that inspire, promote well-being and stimulate a connection with nature. Biophilic landscaping in education spaces recognizes the importance of this bond for student development, as it benefits well-being, academic performance, and people's health. We have selected eight projects that bring natural elements to the classroom or that place students directly in nature to illustrate the qualities in these spaces.
A Summer School Campus in Hungary and a Wooden Kindergarten in Spain: 10 Unbuilt Educational Facilities Submitted by the ArchDaily Community
For many, schools and kindergartens represent the first contact with public architecture. They, together with every educational facility, serve as the foundation for learning and knowledge dissemination, playing an important role in shaping the formative years of children and young adults. In consequence, these buildings need to respond to the needs of different age groups, while creating functional and flexible spaces for learning, but also for play and unstructured interaction. Light and ventilation needs contribute to the complexity of these architectural programs. However, designing educational facilities presents opportunities for innovation and creative expression, as they are required to adapt continuously to the changing needs of students and faculty while creating a conductive environment for learning.
This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights designs submitted by the ArchDaily community dedicated to cultural institutions. From a learning center created to offer the girls in Mozambique an equal opportunity to learn, play and connect, to a naval station redesigned as a research center on the coast of Puerto Rico, this selection features projects created to encourage learning, curiosity, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. The article includes designs from both established and emerging architectural practices, including Moore Ruble Yudell, C+S ARCHITECTS led by Carlo Cappai and Maria Alessandra Segantini, Hello Wood, and snkh studio.
Architects have always considered the positive influence of natural light on the health and mood of a building's occupants, but measuring its actual benefits was a challenge for a long time. However, the past few decades have seen significant progress in this area, with research such as the comprehensive study conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group, which analyzed more than 21,000 student tests in three school districts in California, Washington, and Colorado. The results showed that students in classrooms with more natural light had a 20% faster learning progress in math tests and 26% on reading tests, compared to students in classrooms with less natural light. Many other studies reinforce that including natural light in spaces has immense long-term benefits for societies, especially during a child's valuable formative years, who spend about 90% of their time indoors and about 200 days a year in classrooms.
March 8th is celebrated as International Women's Day, a date remembered for years as a symbol of the fight for their rights. However, although many countries have laws establishing equal rights for men and women, gender inequality and all its consequences are still experienced every day by girls and women all around the world. The patriarchal system, rooted in many societies over the centuries, has been responsible for inequality of power between the genders which, in the most extreme cases, results in violence and femicide.
Foster + Partners has revealed the designs of the Marine Life Institute on Saudi Arabia's northwestern coast. As part of Triple Bay development AMAALA, a luxury tourist destination on the Red Sea coastline, the project will accommodate a research center, labs, galleries, and educational spaces to give visitors a glimpse into the wonders of the marine environment of the coastline. Reproducing the forms of coral formations, the building will be the world's first fully immersive marine institution where visitors can walk underwater, snorkel with rare species and experience a coral exhibit inside the building.
SO-IL Architects has been chosen to develop the conceptual design for a new building for the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The project is set to provide the first stand-alone facility for WCMA, and will feature teaching spaces, collections, exhibitions and programs that will transform the museum’s engagement with the campus, as well as the Williamstown community and the Berkshires cultural region. The architecture firm was commended for its "inventive and enthusiastic approach to the museum’s teaching mission", putting art at the center of academia, student life, the campus, and community.
Over the past few years, educational campuses around the world have been confronted with various trends and challenges of change, such as pandemic adaptation, climate crisis, the responsibility for sustainable design and online teaching. Sasaki Architecture, with offices in Boston, Denver and Shanghai, specialises in planning educational campuses around the world. With a broad portfolio of projects at various scales of intervention, recent projects in the United States, China, Mexico and Peru stand out.
Aiming to transform the learning experience for neurodiverse students through a nature-centric environment, NBBJ has unveiled a net-zero school in Encino, California. Titled "Westmark Lower School", the new campus will foster an inclusive and engaging learning experience for students and teachers, responding to the critical condition of U.S students, where 2.3 million were diagnosed with learning differences between 2019 - 2020.
The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have announced the second list of 85 works competing for the 2022 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Joining the batch of first nominations announced in February 2021, the full list comprises now of 532 competing works for the EU Mies Award 2022. The shortlist of 40 will be announced in January 2022, the winners in April 2022, and the Award ceremony will take place in May 2022.
According to architect and academic Frank Locker, in architectural education, we keep repeating the same formula from the 20th-century: teachers transmitting a rigid and basic knowledge that gives students, no matter their motivation, interests, or abilities, little to no direction. In this way, says Locker, we are replicating, literally, prisons, with no room for an integral, flexible, and versatile education.
"What do you think of when you're in a space with closed doors and a hallway where you can't enter without permission or a bell that tells you when you can enter and leave?" asks Locker.
It is a student's right to be educated in a safe, healthy, and even aesthetically appealing environment, especially young students for whom these factors are even more important. For example, it has been shown that when the ergonomics of chairs are inadequate, they can greatly affect levels of concentration and the development of skills such as calligraphy. At the same time, the effectiveness of traditional teaching methods is increasingly being questioned and the quality of alternative methodologies increasingly being considered. In other articles, we discussed in more detail the design of Montessori schools and the atmosphere of Waldorf interiors.
Today, we will cover the importance of choosing furniture and address some aspects to consider when organizing them in classroom design for the schools of the future.
Introduced by Rudolf Steiner, Waldorf pedagogy draws on the principles of anthroposophical philosophy. One of the theory's foundational characteristics is its holistic approach to the human being: feelings, imagination, spirit, and intellect are considered unique to every individual, and thoughts, feelings, and actions are understood to always be linked.
Thus, the focus of the philosophy is to cultivate individuals who are capable of relating both to themselves and to society (inter and intrapersonal intelligence) - fundamental skills for overcoming the challenges of the 21st century. This kind of learning takes place in schools that follow Steiner's method, introducing families to the school environment and bringing them into the community. Below, we review the operations and implications of this pedagogy.