Architects find educational institutions challenging to design. That is because they must take utmost care when designing buildings to be used primarily by children.
To add to it, schools are complex structures. They require different spaces of varying sizes, including several departments meant for unique reasons.
Thus, designing educational institutions requires a deep approach and beliefs that cater to the purpose of the schools. Here are four principles that architects follow while planning school structures.
Technology has been advancing rapidly over the ages. Along with it, modern learning spaces must evolve. If you want an educational institution to function long-term, architects believe in incorporating long-term adjustability.
This way, pedagogies, curricula, and technology can evolve, and the buildings can support those changes.
Safety and Security
You may have heard of instances in states like Florida and Colorado that follow strict safety and security measures while designing educational institutions to combat terror-related activities.
However, while it is crucial to cater against terror while designing these environments, student bullying is even more concerning. Proofing school buildings against the latter calls for a series of architectural hurdles.
Bullies look for places that fall in the blind spot. Students belonging to the teenage group encounter more bullying incidents in the stairwells and hallways. These are the most common places, along with playgrounds and cafeterias where students spend most of their time.
Therefore, architects must design focusing on windows and clear lines of sight that present zero bullying opportunities. This step would improve the learning environment for defenseless students.
It is often assumed that technology integration implies the incorporation of computer labs. This generalization is true to a great extent. However, that is not the end of it. Schools these days require separate rooms that students can sign up to explore their interest in the tech world.
Today, the leap ahead by installing ubiquitous, mobile, personal, and invisible technological devices. Wiring the entire learning environments need architectural approval. Even projectors, sound systems, screens, network access on campus, digital displays, etc., need proper and safe designing by architects in collaboration with electricians.
This way, architecture reduces students’ dependence on teachers while promoting peer-to-peer collaboration. Architecture, therefore, broadens the learning sphere from the classrooms into the exteriors of the school.
School architecture reflects transparency which is the principle of visual interconnectedness. Hallways, cafeterias, classrooms are internal spaces often separated using opaque structures like doorways and walls. That has opened the architectural perspective to glass partitions and precise lines of sight.
Therefore, transparency is one of the primary considerations of school architecture.
The relation between architecture and education is prominent. In fact, architecture, philosophy, and sociology are interconnected. They present problems, as well as their solutions amongst themselves.
Therefore, going beyond ergonomics is crucial for educational infrastructures taking architecture as an educational tool.