Beige lockers. Gray hallways. Utilitarian tile floors. If these characteristics describe your school, you’re not alone. School architecture has long been uninspired and merely functional, serving only as an drab shell for housing students. Modern studies, however, have led many educators and designers to believe that surroundings affect the concentration, mood and overall interest of students.
Hoping to grab the attention of pupils and avoid the malaise that comes with monotonous environments, schools have started to rely more on architecture and interior design as a teaching aide. At Achievement First Endeavor Middle School in Brooklyn, officials decided to turn an industrial-style high-rise into a more colorful and interesting space. Motivational slogans by the school’s teachers were painted in bold fonts and bright colors on walls around the building. Personally, I think the unique graphics work well as both an aesthetic addition and for the way they define the entire building as a learning environment.
Some schools have gone even further in their pursuit of architecture that engages students individually, with Ordrup School in Denmark creating an entirely new building based around a fresh teaching model. By focusing more on interactions between students and their environment, rather than the usual strict classroom conventions, these teachers in Denmark are changing the way students learn.
I’ve found many other examples of unique architecture and interior design in schools, which you can explore below. These modern features range from simple things like unusual desk arrangements or open floor plans to entirely new buildings that focus on attractive work areas for pupils to actually enjoy on a daily basis. I know that dull settings can lead to boredom in the classroom, and I wish that my school experience had taken place in one of these institutions.
What do you think about school design? Do you think it affects your students’ moods or learning capability?