Sports arenas hold significant relevance in society as they serve as vital meeting places for sports and cultural activities. They play a role in enhancing overall well-being, encouraging an active lifestyle, and fostering social inclusion. Within these projects, architects assume the responsibility of designing spaces that seamlessly accommodate athletes and the community. Moreover, architects must actively engage with the surroundings to create a harmonious dialogue and establish a distinct identity for the arena.
Schools: 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.
I always consider myself fortunate to have grown up outside the city, where my ‘cross-country’ lessons, for example –national right of hardship for 11-16-year-olds– were through the actual countryside rather than the high street. For many children, however, modern school life is not so close to nature.
Already over-populated cities are continuing to expand, meaning more schools are suffering from the limitations presented by inner-city architecture including noise, air, and light pollution; a lack of space, especially green space; restrictive budgets and building regulations resistant to change.
With innovative and considered design solutions, however, these four inner-city schools show the rest of the class how to work through their architectural answers and provide quality, green spaces for all.
OMA / David Gianotten and Circlewood Develop a Modular Wood System to Create Flexible Schools for the City of Amsterdam
As part of the Circlewood consortium, OMA’s David Gianotten and Michel den Otter have developed a modular system to build schools that can adapt and transform throughout their lifecycle. The system was selected by the City of Amsterdam to be employed to build multiple schools in the coming ten years, as part of the Innovation Partnership School Buildings program. The citywide initiative aims to build nine to thirty “high-quality, flexible, and sustainable” schools as a way to contribute to the city’s goal of becoming fully circular by 2050.
“Education Is the Movement From Darkness to Light:” the Bulgarian Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Explores School Abandonment in the Country
For the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, the Bulgarian Pavilion will present the exhibition titled “Education is the movement from darkness to light.” Curators Boris Tikvarski, Bojidara Valkova, and Mariya Gyaurova, joined by Belgian photographer Alexander Dumarey, have chosen to focus the exhibition on the subject of depopulation, urban decline, and rural flight, expressed through the image of abandoned schools present in the country. The project was selected following a national competition organized by The Ministry of Culture, The Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria, and the Union of Architects.
Pantone has revealed its Color of the Year for 2023, 18-1750 Viva Magenta, a brand-new color "brave and fearless, whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration." The shade falls under the red family and is inspired by the tone of cochineal extract, one of the most precious dyes historically used to color textiles, cosmetics, and food.
Hard times bring people together. In recent years we have seen how collective work can be a driving force to help those affected by natural or man-made disasters. After a disaster or displacement, a safe physical environment is often essential. Therefore, the need for coordination becomes a key factor in assisting people in times of need.
Architects, as "Shelter Specialists", play an important role in creating safe and adequate environments, whether it is individual housing, public buildings, schools, or emergency tent camps. But as architect Diébédo Francis Kéré says, "When you have nothing and you want to convince your community to believe in an idea, it may happen that everybody starts working with you, but you need to keep fighting to convince them."
The New York City Senate and Assembly have passed the SIGH act, prohibiting the construction of new schools near major roadways. The act, named The Schools Impact by Gross Highways Act, aims to protect school-age children from air pollution. Under this law, the commissioner of education for the city will not be able to approve the plans for the construction of any new schoolhouse within 500 feet (150 meters) of a controlled-access highway unless the commissioner determines that space limitations are so severe that there is no other site to erect such new schoolhouse.
An Environmental Youth Center in Mount Lebanon and a Modular School in Ukraine: 8 Educational Facilities Submitted to ArchDaily
This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights educational facilities submitted by the ArchDaily community. From a contextual Earth school in Senegal, to a borderless, collaborative school in Vietnam, this round up of unbuilt projects showcases how architects infused nature with architecture, offering students the chance to engage with the landscape and learn more about their surroundings from their academic institutes. The article also features projects from Lebanon, Switzerland, Armenia, Ukraine, and Greece.
A new report from The Trust for Public Land (TPL) makes a compelling case for transforming underperforming, paved public schoolyards into green oases for the entire community. While the benefits for schools and their educational communities are clear, TPL sees an opportunity to open up these facilities to surrounding neighborhoods after school hours, on weekends, and when school is out. If all 90,000 public schools in the country had a “community schoolyard,” more communities could tackle the persistent park equity issue — in which too few communities, particularly undeserved ones, enjoy access to nearby high-quality public green spaces. TPL argues that opening up all schoolyards, essentially turning them into part-time all-access community hubs, would “put a park within a 10-minute walk of nearly 20 million people — solving the problem of outdoor access for one-fifth of the nation’s 100 million people who don’t currently have a park close to home.”
Following the recent evolution of the climate crisis, policymakers and private companies are getting behind the transition towards clean energy. California is set to mandate solar panels and battery storage for new buildings in a move towards establishing a 100% clean energy grid, while across the US, public schools are redesigned to operate on green energy. In Europe, the EU launched a call to establish an offshore renewable energies working group that would help define the framework for reaching the EU’s ambition of at least 300 GW of offshore wind and 40 GW of ocean energies by 2050. At the same time, furniture manufacturer IKEA announced it would start selling renewable energy to Swedish households.
It is safe to say that living in large urban areas, most of the sounds surrounding us are accidental, and most of them are not very pleasant. According to Julian Treasure, chairman of The Sound Agency, sounds can affect us in many ways: physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behaviorally, reducing productivity in workspaces and even affecting sales in retail stores. Therefore, paying attention to acoustic comfort in the built environment is imperative, not only for engineers and consultants but also for architects.
In his book “The New Brutalism in Architecture: Ethical or Aesthetic?,” Reyner Banham establishes what he deems the semantic roots of the term 'Brutalism,' explaining that it comes from one of the " indisputable turning points in architecture, the construction of Le Corbusier's concrete masterpiece, la Unité d'habitation de Marseille. It was Corbusier's own word for raw or rough-cast concrete, "Béton brut," that made Brutalism a mainstay in architectural jargon and, in many ways, the term, as well as the architecture it described, flourished." In the book, Banham highlights the historical milestone marked by Corbusier's Unite d' Habitation and the socio-political context that shaped it. In steel-starved post-World War II Europe, exposed concrete became the go-to building material within the burgeoning Brutalist movement, which quickly defined itself by its bare-bone, rugged surfaces and dramatic, geometric shapes.