Many of our childhood experiences take place in school. Whether these memories are good or bad, most children and teenagers spend a majority of their days in classrooms or other educational facilities. According to IQAir, “every year, children spend an average of 1,300 hours in school buildings.” But even as the world changes rapidly, and the internet in particular increases the accessibility of information, the design and operation of schools remain, in a way, outdated. As noted in a previous article, ideally the typology of educational spaces and the configuration of classrooms should suit more contemporary ways of teaching and learning, rather than the traditional organization of rows of desks facing a teacher at the head. But it is important that the analysis of educational facilities does not stop there. All surfaces and materials have a significant impact on both the well-being and learning of users.
Schools: The Latest Architecture and News
Throughout the south of the United States, hundreds of mid-century “equalization schools”—public schools built in the 1950s following Brown vs. Board of Education in a desperate effort to maintain segregated “separate but equal” schools in southern states—sit empty, abandoned, and crumbling.
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.
The Best Architecture Masters (BAM) platform presented the third edition of its ranking of the best postgraduate architecture programs in the world.
Based on a list of different postgraduate study programs from the best architecture schools selected in the QS Ranking by Subjects – Architecture / Built Environment, these were evaluated by 11 educational-performance indicators and 41 sub-indicators in relation to the teaching approach, the opportunities they offer, and the programs themselves.
In order to ensure a proper transition into post COVID-19, architects, public health experts, and engineers are generating design guidelines to provide people with new secure, and efficient resources. Finding a balance between optimizing operations and keeping people safe, the strategies tackle the built environment that surrounds us, from restaurants and outdoor dining, to streets, offices, and retail.
Addressed to city officials, owners, and employers, the tools developed help to reopen the world, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, promoting social distancing standards, and enhancing wellbeing. Discover in this article a roundup of design guidelines securing a safe post coronavirus transition.
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.
Henning Larsen is proud to present It Begins with Curiosity, the studio’s first ever monograph after more than half a century at the forefront of Scandinavian architecture and urbanism. The studio has been a pioneer in and ambassador for Danish design, bringing its unique principles and approach to projects as diverse as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh and Kiruna City Hall in Sweden. The book dives deep into the studio’s legacy, recent works, and outlooks to share their vision of how to create a more livable and sustainable future for all.
It Begins with Curiosity defines the mindset the
Few things irritate us more than exposure to excessive noise or inability to hear what we need to hear. Whether it's a nearby construction site, highway traffic, air conditioning, or a neighbor learning saxophone, research shows that noise can contribute to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, headaches, hormonal changes, sleep disturbance, reduced physical and mental performance, and the reduction of well-being. On the other hand, in an acoustically "comfortable" environment, in addition to listening to what we want, we focus better and feel calmer.
The concern about creating acoustically comfortable environments is often relegated to cinemas, concert halls and recording studios. But it is particularly important in learning environments, such as classrooms, as it directly influences the teaching-learning relationship. Acoustic discomfort can harm the process of knowledge acquisition, interfering with attention and worsening student-teacher communication.
Sustainable School Design: How Hamilton + Aitken Architects Maximize Natural Light Using Vectorworks
“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.”
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. If you have any questions or advice about portfolios or any other design-related topics, leave a voicemail at The Midnight Charette hotline: 213-222-6950.
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.
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.
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.