Back to school: Educational architecture you need to see

Alec Malloy

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Back to school: Educational architecture you need to see

 

As students across the globe pack up their pens, pencils and packed lunches, ready to head back to school, WorldBuild365 has picked out our favourite pieces of architecture related to education from across the world.
An educational facility presents architects and engineers with some unique challenges. Balancing practicality, aesthetics and functionality that schools, universities and colleges demand can be tricky – especially given the context of some of the structures in our list.
Our top picks includes ultra-modern schools, kindergartens and even a student housing development. While the designs are sometimes wildly disparate, they all have one thing in common: they display fact the architects definitely paid attention while studying themselves.
See below for the educational facilities WorldBuild365 has awarded top marks.
Blavatnik School of Government – University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom – Herzog & de Meuron
Blavantik School of Government
Blavantik School of Government
Images: © Iwan Baan
The multi-shaped layers of Herzog & de Meuron’s RIBA Prize shortlisted Blavatnik School of Government is one of the more modern buildings to populate the University of Oxford’s campus. Circular volumes are combined with jutting-rectangular sections for a design that has won critical praise and livens up Oxford’ stuffy atmosphere.
Read more: 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist announced for UK’s best new building
Makoko Floating School – Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria – NLÉ Works
Makoko Floating School
Makoko Floating School
Images: © nleworks.com
Makoko is one of the world’s wettest urban areas. Why? Because it is comprised of thousands of floating, vernacular structures on a lagoon located close Nigeria’s largest city Lagos. The Floating School, brainchild of NLÉ Works Principal Kunlé Adeyemi, offered a contextually solid, environmentally friendly school in an area where it was desperately needed.
Unfortunately, the initial design was not entirely successful as the school sank during a spell of bad weather. Kunlé Adeyemi has since revealed he is working on an improved plan to create more stable floating schools in the future. For ingenuity and its green credentials alone, the Makoko Floating School is one of WorldBuild365’s favourite schools.
Read more: Makoko Floating School: innovation out of adversity
Kindergarten –  Guastalla, Italy – Mario Cucinella Architects
Kindergarten, Guastalla, Italy
Kindergarten -  Guastalla, Italy
Images: © Moreno Maggi, Fausto Franzosi
Doing away with the notion that children’s architecture has to be child’s play, Mario Cucinella’s design team decided to take a more adult approach when tackling this Kindergarten. Scalloped shaped, with unique wavy forms seen throughout the structure, the Kindergarten is one of the more unusual designs on WorldBuild365’s list.
Inside, neutral woods and a calming colour scheme create a soothing atmosphere for children to explore every area in comfort. What’s more, the Kindergarten uses natural ventilation and recycled materials, greatly reducing its environmental impact.
Read more: Environmentally friendly children’s architecture
Golden Cube Student Housing – Boulogne-Billencourt, Paris, France – Hamonic + Masson & Associés
Golden Cube Student Housing, Boulogne-Billencourt, Paris
Image: © Christophe Demonfaucon
Golden Cube Student Housing - Boulogne-Billencourt, Paris
Image: © Sergio Grazia
Golden Cube is certainly an apt name for this student residence designed by French studio Hamonic + Masson & Associés. Bronze aluminium cladding is closely perforated to give the students both light and privacy. Dotted across the exteriors are balconies of varying size, which gives Golden Cube a touch of intriguing variation from every angle.
The balconies offer more than just aesthetic touches, however. The architects wanted to maximise internal space while giving residents access to the outside. The solution? Balconies for all 152 apartments.
South Harbour School – Copenhagen, Denmark – JJW Architects
South Harbour School – Copenhagen, Denmark
South Harbour School – Copenhagen, Denmark
Images: © Torben Eskerod
Designed to meet Copenhagen’s growing population, growing 1,000 new citizens each month, and subsequent demand for more education centres, South Harbour School is a brand new public school. As well as providing the regular educational services for schoolchildren, in time South Harbour School will be open to the public too for subjects such as music and cookery.
On each floor, levels vary and all available space has been put to practical use. JJW Architects scheme won the attention of the World Architecture Awards judging panel, subsequently winning the 2016 WAN Education Award.

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