Spotlighting the latest conceptual designs for educational facilities by leading architectural practices.

As our approach to education evolves, so must the environments dedicated to imparting knowledge. Gone are the days of brownstone buildings and whiteboards – educational buildings today serve as much to nurture a sense of community and individuality, as they are intended to inspire and empower future generations.

Drawing from different countries, the following projects reflect new ideas and trends in both academia and contemporary practice; each manifesting a distinct design process with a diverse set of spatial and formal approaches that embody architecture for education today.

Kamyaran City School │Iran

The elementary school by Iranian architecture practice CAAT Studio aims to improve the social and cultural life of the community by incorporating an accessible public space into its plan. Located on the borders of Kurdistan and Iran, the transitionary space operates as a school during normal school hours with practical classrooms, labs, and a library located at one end of the site. Come evening, the social elements of the project - amphitheater, and gym, for example – transform the site into a public plaza with space for meetings, ceremonies, and events.

Forest School │ India

Architecture Studio Nudes headed by Nuru Karim designed the Forest School in Pune as a conjoined pair of cylindrical towers wrapped in greenery, topped with a looping cycling track on the roof. The school is designed to foster an inclusive community, with opportunities for hands-on learning about the environment and climate change.  Featuring a double-height auditorium at ground level with five floors of classrooms above, accentuated with stepped balconies covered in plants that ring the exterior of both buildings, the project appears as a vertical forest and gives students an intimate experience of nature.

Kaleidoscope │ China

Japanese architect Keiichiro Sako brightened this kindergarten with panels of 483 glass inserts, creating a kaleidoscope of colourful rainbow hues throughout the space. As light shines through, colour bounces across the minimalist, white space creating an exciting environment of ever-changing hues to nurture children’s creativity and curiosity, whilst imbuing a sense of joy.

Dehnou School│Iran

Located in a village near the historic Iranian city of Jiroft and designed by KA Architecture Studio, this school seeks to address the issues surrounding village-to-city migration, where urban displacement has placed stress on both native villages and city centres. With the hope to re-engage students in practical economics and agriculture, the school structure is designed as a series of farming terraces, interconnected with communal areas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked our approach to how we will design built environments of the future; here is how educational spaces could evolve.