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Cool Schools:Fall Semester Edition

Cool Schools:Fall Semester Edition
Design
Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 25 september 2008

The fall school semester has settled in and we’ve collected another batch of uniquely designed learning facilities. Each of these merge distinctive aesthetics with clever functional solutions to inspire learning, social interaction, and play.

The building for the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, Rural Clinical Division in Australia needed make an inspiring statement. The Division focuses on encouraging medical practitioners to take up rural practice through providing positive clinical education and training experiences. The task of creating a facility for students and faculty was the responsibility of Arkhefield architects. The design of the building grew in large part from the limited the size of the site and the dual function of classroom and office spaces that the university required. The design team devised a solution to have open learning areas located on the ground floor and administration above. The building makes use of large glass walls to let northern light flow in. The views to the outside also reinforce a connection to the community that the school aims to serve. The concrete end walls of the school contain eye catching perforations. The architects intended for the circles to allow interesting patterns of light to fill the building during the day and to animate the exterior at night as they become illuminated from the lighting inside.

The Seu University of La Nucia in Spain serves as the extension campus of the main school. The University offers courses for students who can’t travel to the main campus. The school needed to develop a central meeting point for the campus that reflected a forward looking perspective. Spanish architects CrystalZoo were called to inject new life into one of the classic building on the campus to serve this purpose. The creative team developed a series of dynamic spaces that cut into and extend out of the original structure. Inside a new reception area was created along with a cafe and a series of informal meeting and work areas.

Finally, it might be pretty cold in Tromsø, Norway but 70ºN Architecture have created a kindergarten that’s bright, colorful, and fun. The architects have included a lot for the kids to do. Outside there is a roofed terrace and garden that is protected from the harsh climate. Inside sculptural walls create activity areas and reading nooks. Furniture and toys are partly integrated into the wall system so the floor area can be as free as possible: long drawing tables, climbing walls and puppet theatre are all parts of the playing walls. The architects devised a system to allow the walls to swing to different positions to allow for flexibility of the space.

University of Queensland RCD [via wan]
Sue University of La Nucia [via dezeen]
Tromsø kindergarten [via arch daily]

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