Week of October 5th, 2020 – School Building Design and Architecture

Top 5 Design Posts of the Week

While heading back-to-school this year might look a bit different that previous years, some things will always remain the same. Whether it’s setting up a new corner in your home as the “classroom”, heading to the library, or donning a new mask while you wander less-crowded halls, we’re all trying our best to make the most of this Fall. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced a lot of people to utilize remote learning, cutting down on time spent around others in crowded classrooms and cafeterias. However, there are some educational areas, both close and far, that are open for learning under certain conditions.

Take a deep breath, and remember that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, life will go on. We recommend getting plenty of exercise for both your body and mind while we’re still figuring out the “new normal.” Luckily, we can provide a mental break with some amazing design content, focusing on school building and design trends. From PS#1, to free-standing schools that look more like utopian dream-lands, there’s been quite the change in school design and architecture over the years. Dive into this week’s top 5 designs and learn a thing or two about the way schools are designed. Let us know your favorite article in the comments below!

1. Back to the Future

The Future of School Design, Architect Magazine

Sometimes, breaking down such a complex idea like “what makes a school” can be a critical component in understanding the basic elements, before design and taste come into play.

Architect Magazine states “In the one-room schoolhouse, there are two pieces of design: the room and the seat. Moving forward through the history of American schools, these two elements—the container and its contents—become the object of repeated invention and modification.”

When we view schools with such a narrow-vision, focusing on only the room and the seat, then it opens up infinite possibilities in terms of style and taste, since functionality is already accounted for. Architect Magazine makes a case for the modern schoolhouse, which might not look exactly as Utopian as you’d hoped. Keeping in mind the shift in the learning-curve from direct one-dimensional lessons to project and inquiry-based group work, the spaces have to accommodate for today’s learning styles and patterns. Check out the other featured schools and read all about what makes them stand out, in terms of education but mainly by just how stunning they seem to appear. Let us know your favorite in the comments below!

2. Get Schooled!

Back to school: Design lessons from the world’s smartest education centers, CNN

As many are experiencing recently, where you work and learn from can play a huge role in how effective and organized one can be. Many are finding out that it’s a bit more difficult to feel like you’re working at 100% capacity when you wake up and only have to take 10 steps to your “office.” Sure, you’re saving a ton on gas money these days, but when’s the last time you did something you enjoyed? And now every night before dinner you are tasked with clearing off the “workspace,” so your desk can transform back into the dining room table. CNN dives into the concept of uniquely designed schools, just to make us excited for the future again. (Bet you never imaged being this excited for thinking about back-to-school, huh?) From stunning colors and communal spaces in Singapore, to a unique green-turf wrapped campus outside of Spain, CNN shows it all off. Our pick? Check out #3 in Singapore and tell us you wouldn’t enjoy rolling down those green roofs after finishing your hardest final!

3. Kindergarten in Circles

Loop Kindergarten by SAKO Architects, Dezeen

Creating a unique space that offers functionality blended with design is always a challenge, but not for SAKO Architects. This kindergarten in Tianjin, China, boasts of a donut-shape building, every single rainbow color included on the playground, and everything is curved, creating a beautiful sense of modernity while not being brash. The center is the playground, and the building itself is 3 stories high, including open-air decks on the upper levels, split-level indoor playgrounds, light-producing glass funnels, and much more. The grand entrance appears to be a huge arch slicing through the side, and even the windows fit in perfectly, as they’re all unique sizes with uniform curved edges. Let us now your favorite element of the “donut” below!

4. Backyard Kindergarten

Little Tiger Chinese Immersion School / Murray Legge Architecture, ArchDaily

Little Tiger is a Chinese language immersion school, but don’t let the name fool you. Although it’s only 735 square feet of interior space, this school utilizes provisions in the Austin, TX development code for compatible use, creating a diverse urban education center within the typical single-family neighborhood. The school contains 5 “rooms”, including an entryway, wash areas, classroom, and two water closets. Designed for efficiency, the windows are all child-height and the window bay along the north wall doubles as a reading area with a built-in bench! Check out the entire building’s design and features in the link above!

5. Worldly Inspiring School Architecture

15 Inspiring Architecture School Buildings from Around the World, ArchDaily

It only seems fitting that Architecture students get to marvel in a unique space while they design their own unique spaces, but these photos make us realize we spent time at the wrong schools! Architectural Daily shows off their top 15 Schools of Architecture and proves that the students in architecture and design “have a particularly unique and interesting building-user relationship.” The spaces are designed for maximum efficacy, serving as constant inspiration for those studying the craft. They come with a challenge too, often having to be incorporated within a pre-existing university space, so blending in can be a challenge. “Architecture schools are not typical academic buildings though—the demand for open studio space, critique spaces that accommodate large gatherings (but may not always be in use), and space for resources like a workshop or digital workrooms make flexibility an important factor for a successful architecture school.” Check out the gallery at the end of this article and become inspired for the future of our design world!


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