By Emma Charlton
Ever wish you could revisit your youth? These schools will make you want to be a student again.
As well as offering beautiful, architect-designed spaces, they house a mind-boggling array of facilities, from teaching gardens and meditation areas to top-notch sports grounds and open classrooms.
Here are a few examples of schools that are rethinking traditional teaching.
At the New Islands Brygge School, which is being built in Copenhagen, Denmark, each class will have direct access to a large rooftop garden for science and to grow and harvest supplies for cookery lessons.
C.F. Møller Architects designed the building in collaboration with Copenhagen architecture firm Tredje Natur so that the indoor and outdoor spaces are close and pupils can take short cuts across the roof to lessons. The top section is home to a sports area with a running track and an enclosed ball pitch.
Mixing age groups
Finland is frequently cited as a world leader in education, and the Kastelli School and Community Centre, 600km north of Helsinki in Oulu, shows why.
Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects designed the space in collaboration with pedagogy experts to include spaces in which children of all ages meet for work and socializing. The open corridors, free-form lounges and lobbies are built to maximize integration and minimize external noise.
And to top it all off, the sports facilities are advanced enough to host national league matches.
Architecture studio Kurani has designed a school with a meditation deck, pet stables and a zen garden, with construction starting this year. The weekday boarding school on the outskirts of Chennai in India will focus on skills, character and holistic development.
According to the founders at the SPI Incubator, traditional schools overlook emotional intelligence and happiness and – since these qualities are found in villages – the design of the school campus reflects this, centering on a plaza with spaces to maximize socializing.
Coding for the future
After passing logical reasoning tests on the web, prospective students aged between 18 and 30 compete over four weeks for entry to the course, which takes three to five years to complete.
As schools around the world scramble to keep up with rapid advances in digital technology that will impact the future of employment, Niel believes his peer-to-peer, student-led scheme will be able to offer solutions.
Is it a school or a power station? This solar-powered school gives back to the community by generating enough energy for itself as well as 50 homes.
Architecture firm Skop used sustainable principles to design the building in Port, Switzerland. Constructed using timber from sustainably managed forests and other construction materials that were picked for their non-toxic, recyclable and low-impact properties, the building is an education in itself for students learning about sustainability.
Emma Charlton is a writer at the World Economic Forum.
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