“When we started out, our goal was to change the world, to do something that would really make a difference to the lives of people,” said Chad Hamilton, AIA LEED AP BD+C, Principal Architect of Hamilton + Aitken Architects (H+AA). “And education is one of the things that really determines how people live the rest of their lives. “So, for us it’s just a wonderful feeling, to improve kids’ educational spaces.”
Schools: The Latest Architecture and News
Sustainable School Design: How Hamilton + Aitken Architects Maximize Natural Light Using Vectorworks
European children spend approximately 200 days a year at primary school. Even though the academic year in most parts of the world is not as long as in Europe, the place where children and adolescents spend the most time, following their own homes, is usually in educational institutions. These can be places for learning, playing and socializing, and as sad as it may be, they can also be safer places for children living in environments of abandonment, hunger, and violence, providing them with opportunities and even meals. A United Kingdom-wide survey found that the differences in physical characteristics of classrooms accounted for 16% of the variations in learning progress over the course of a year. In other words, the better a classroom is designed, the better children perform academically. According to the study, the factors that most affect children are sunlight, indoor air quality, acoustic environment, temperature, the design of the classroom itself and the stimulation within it.
The key to a good education lies not only in good books and the teacher's didactics. The learning environment which students attend also has a great influence on their education since the requirements for acoustic, thermal and luminous comforts, or even landscaping, directly influence the behavior and attention of the students. In Brazil, school projects can vary widely from the private sector to the public sector, yet in both cases, it is possible to find high-quality solutions.
The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted and long-format conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and more personal discussions. Honesty and humor are used to cover a wide array of subjects: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or simply explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is available for free on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and all other podcast directories.
On this episode of The Midnight Charette podcast, hosts David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet discuss the factors to consider when choosing an undergraduate architecture school. The two cover everything from program curricula to group dynamics, accreditation, faculty leadership, school reputation, student work and portfolios, course diversity, 5th year, job opportunities after graduating and more. The Midnight Charette also recently interviewed several educators and academic leaders on architecture education and their own work.
The world is growing at a break-neck speed today and with rapid urbanization, information and technology, it is demanding a constantly changing human intellect. To face these transformations, the upcoming generations need to be moulded in a way that they can cope efficiently with the variations. Education can help initiate this change by altering the mindsets and outlook of people around the world.
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.
Henning Larsen has completed their new campus for the French International School in Hong Kong, offering a “vibrant green oasis in the dense city.” The 1100-capacity school sits behind a kaleidoscopic façade laid across a grid of 727 multicolored tiles, offering a “vibrant sustainable environment supporting a world-class multicultural education.”
Located in the city’s Tseung Kwan O district, the 19,600-square-meter scheme comprises a series of large open plan spaces called Villas, each with 125 pupils in the same age group. The spaces are arranged around a central Agora, facilitating group activities and collaboration.
For architects, schools are often complex structures to design. They must provide a variety of spaces for education, and also consider sports and recreational activities. But beyond its size or surface, the greatest challenge is to design an area that fosters a positive pedagogical environment for children. Below, a selection of 70 school projects with their drawings to inspire your proposals for learning campuses.
Barclay & Crousse's University of Piura Edificio E in Peru wins the 2018 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize
Barclay & Crousse Architecture’s Edificio E, University of Piura in Peru has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), recognizing the most distinguished architectural works built on the North and South American continents.
The project was selected from a shortlist of six finalists, joining SANAA’s Grace Farms, Alvaro Siza’s Iberê Camargo Foundation and Herzog & de Meuron’s 1111 Lincoln Road as winners of the highly-regarded prize which was established in 2003.
Did you know that 64 million European children spend more time at school than anywhere else other than their home? European children spend approximately 200 days each year at their primary schools. With this information, how do we go about designing healthier classrooms that create productive learning environments? This question is perhaps more important than ever, as this will be the first time since the 1970s that Europe and the UK will see a boom in the construction and renovation of schools. What a tremendous opportunity this is for both architects and educators to rethink what an educational facility should be and how the physical environment can be designed to have a positive impact on learning.
Office Ou, a Toronto-based landscape design firm, in collaboration with INOSTUDIO Architects, has designed a new public school for the historic Smíchov district of Prague. The initial competition, organized by the Centre for Central European Architecture, chose the Office Ou & INOSTUDIO design out of 66 anonymous submissions. This school would be the first new public school built in Prague's urban center in close to 100 years.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has issued a statement outlining its new initiatives in response to the rising tide of school shootings in the United States. The statement, titled “Where we stand: School design and student safety,” outlines four paths of action the Institute intends to take to support architects and school communities.
While not containing a detailed policy to tackle the ongoing crisis, the AIA statement commits to updating school design guidelines, supporting education to achieve safe school design, making safe school design eligible for federal grants, and establishing a federal clearinghouse on school design.
As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage we present the proposal for the Greek Pavilion. Below, the participants describe their contribution in their own words.
Xristina Argyros and Ryan Neiheiser have been selected to curate the exhibition of the Greek Pavilion in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia - under the general theme “Freespace,” commissioned by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. Entitled “The School of Athens,” the project will examine the architecture of the academic commons - from Plato’s Academy to contemporary university designs. The selection was made by The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Secretary-General of Spatial Planning and Urban Design, Eirini Klampatsea.
Sou Fujimoto Architects' Terracing Learning Center Wins Competition at University of St. Gallen in Switzerland
Sou Fujimoto Architects has been selected as the winner of a competition to design the new HSG Learning Center at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
Chosen from a shortlist of 8 teams, Sou Fujimoto Architects’ proposal “Open Grid – Choices of Tomorrow” received the highest marks across the following criteria: architecture and urban planning, innovation in concept execution, functionality, sustainability and economic efficiency. According to the competition jury, the project was notable for its “highly developed didactic concept, compatibility with the district, architectural ambition and affordability.”
Stefano Boeri Architetti has revealed the design of three new innovative schools to be built in Tirana, Albania, that will be open 24 hours a day, everyday of the year, transforming them into essential social centers for residents of all ages.
The three new structures will be integrated into Stefano Boeri Architetti’s competition-winning masterplan for Tirana, positioned within key social nodes of the Albanian capital’s northwest quarter: the neighborhoods of Don Bosco, Kodër-Kamëz and Shqiponja Square. Multiple schools will be housed within each of the three structures, which will also contain meeting and social spaces open and available to the entire community.
Winning the Italian Ministry of Education's design competition: Scuole Innovative, AS.IN.O is a proposal for a kindergarten and botanical gardens inspired by local materiality and historic context. The team from aut- -aut in Italy, comprised of Gabriele Capobianco, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta, Jonathan Lazar and Damiano Ranaldi, based the layout of the scheme on the typical double courtyard house typology of the Campidano Meridionale area.
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?