Educational Facility Designs of 2016
Designing educational facilities can really allow designers and architects alike to get creative with problem solving. How can we produce solutions whilst inspiring young and old alike in a learning environment? How do we stimulate the mind? Educational projects are so inspiring to study, scroll through to see our favorites from 2016 (courtesy of ArchDaily, which we're obsessed with in case you hadn't noticed!).
Gensler - Los Angeles, CA
Combining historic buildings in the port of Los Angeles with new research centers and public spaces, Gensler has designed the new AltaSea Campus. Dedicated to the scientific study of the ocean, this project covers 35 acres and seeks to expand scientific understanding of the ocean. How cool is that? AltaSea hope’s to “incubate and sustain ocean-related business and pioneer new ocean-related education programs”. Gensler designed the space to be an area where innovators in science, business and education could all come together while also being a space visitors could come to experience the coming together of land and ocean. Not surprisingly, the campus using renewable energy, with a rooftop full of solar panels. Construction broke ground in 2016, and all phases are set to be complete by 2023.
Certainly makes us want to learn more about the ocean… career change? Read more here.
Walters & Cohen Architects - London, UK
This four-story building designed by Walters & Cohen in 2011 sought to resemble a single large property for the arts building at The American School in London. The final facade design became a unique piece of design, playing with light on the stucco flute design, flattening and disguising the flute pattern one minute and then revealing it again the next minute. Using a variety of materials, this design pulls off a unique design that sits well next to it’s more mature neighbors. The inside, of course, provides exhibition space with art, sculpture, ceramics and photography studios on 3 floors. In a creative environment, natural light is important, the facade features windows spanning nearly floor to ceiling across the three floors on both the north and south side, letting in plenty of natural light for students to create. This structure highlights the importance of art and a creative atmosphere while drawing on the timeless quality of stone. Read more here.
David S. Robins, Dan Price - Herzliya, Israel
This school of entrepreneurship near Tel Aviv is certainly interesting and eye catching, even more so from inside the space. This first of its kind institution in Israel is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship to support Israel’s disproportionately high number of entrepreneurship ventures. Incredibly unique, the upper floors are open and transparent opening up with views of the university’s foliage, whilst conceptually representing a literal factory. Tall and modular spaces designed to reconfigure a variety of teaching environments in a simple no-frill design promotes the idea that school can be a factory for creativity and collaborative pursuits. This factory, rather than producing raw materials, produces creative entrepreneurs. Read more here.
Daniel Valle - Seoul, South Korea
This elementary school renovation in Seoul is easily one of my favorites from 2016. Daniel Valle architects were tasked with renovating this elementary school and determined that the space was not being used very well, no surprise there. Based on the school’s philosophy revolving around sharing spaces to study and provide diverse possibilities to educators to perform new pedagogical practices, the redesign allows a system where spaces can share a common area at the same time while also giving privacy from others. Read more here.
Lorena del Rio, Inaqui Carniecero - Madrid, Spain
This project in Spain is so inspiring! A revolutionary method for children of any age or physical condition to learn English is brought to life in this school in Spain. English for Fun is meant as a place for all children to learn English in a, you guessed it, fun way, using their five senses. The design is meant to foster creativity and imagination, and stimulate all five senses as the children learn English. In this revolutionary space, the child is an active part of the learning process, making the space itself the “third teacher” in the process, after the teachers and parents. Perhaps if I’d had a space like this during my 6 years of taking Spanish lessons I would have learned more than “Yo tengo un gato en mis pantalones”. Read more here.
1+1>2 - Vo Nhai District, Thai Nguyen, Vietnam
A fresh jungle flower in lively colors means so much more in this rugged peak of a mountain in a remote northern mountain of Vietnam than just a modern piece of design. Deprivation and misery is not an unknown reality to the children of Lung Luong. Extremely rough to get to this village, and very dangerous, 90% of ethnic people living here are poor. This elementary school was in terrible, though temporary, condition before the Poor Students Fund supported a rebuild. Soil foundation, walls made of pallets, fibro cement and gables and bamboo for the roof made for damp and terribly cold learning conditions (especially when there is rain and drought). The rebuild creates a school that strives to exist amongst the harsh nature surrounding while inspiring children in their lesson time. The facilities include classrooms, multi-purpose rooms, medical room, library, kitchen, restrooms and dormitory. Read more here.
Menkes Shooner Letourneaux Architectes - Montreal, Canada
This crystal-like volume structure is light and airy, inspired by an ice house that once stood on the site before it. This campus building offsets interacting in a new way with the more introverted campus buildings that currently existed. Maximizing natural light and creating an intersection between the public and the students inside the south and east sides feature floor to ceiling windows. Read more here.
John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects - Claremont, CA
At this college in California John Friedman Alice Kimm (JFAK) architects redefined what a college athletic venue can be, and we gotta say, we love it. This refreshing design is an iconic social hub that brings both students and faculty together in the midst of the athletic buildings and various playing fields. As opposed to many athletic centers being dark and dingy, this one focuses on lightness and light. The architects wanted the light to be “extraordinary”, so that when you enter the lobby you can see not only the arena, but across the arena and outside to the track and field and mountains in the distance. Read more here.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gensler - New York, NY
Columbia University Medical Center’s new building certainly is striking from all angles. This new state-of-the-art medical and grad building was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro along with Gensler. Technologically advanced classrooms and collaboration spaces reflect how medicine is taught, learned and practiced in the modern day. This creates a space for modern medical practice, something very important for the medical student. The 14 story glass, concrete and steel structure allows striking views of the Hudson River and creates an integration between the students and the outside world. Read more here.
Atelier Alter - Beijing, China
Paradise of color is right - wow! What a beautiful and interactive space this creation is. Being a paint company obsessed with color, I’m sure it’s easy for you to see why we chose this one as one of our favorites from 2016. Located in Beijing, this middle school is known as being one of the best middle schools in Beijing (I mean, look at it). Looking to enliven the city whilst building the best school in the neighborhood that incorporates kindergarten education the architects designed this project to be a simple and pure paradise for children, using clean lines and shapes in primarily primary colors. I particularly enjoy the bright green floors seen in the interior. It’s easy to see the purity of a child reflected in this design, as was intended by the designers. This idea, of course, is carried throughout the interior of the design as well. Read more here.
These 10 designs really are so inspiring, wouldn't you agree? We're definitely feeling inspired now. When you're starting your own project it's imperative that you define the rules of your space first, don't jump into adding an element that doesn't fit with the overall scope of the project just to *stand out*. Download our guide on the design process below to make sure you follow the appropriate steps to complete your very own great interior design.
What are your favorite educational facility designs? We'd love to feature them, just get in touch!
*All images courtesy of archdaily.com