French school is a model for clean-air learning environment

October 1, 2021 by  
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Completed in summer 2020, the Simone de Beauvoir School in Drancy, France placed an architectural focus on spatial aspects, function and sustainability. Architects from Bond Society and Daudré-Vignier & Associés collaborated on a brand new elementary school, including 10 classrooms, gathering spaces, a restaurant and playground. The design placed an emphasis on natural lighting and a continual flow throughout the spaces. This open concept includes fixed furnishings, storage and benches, but eliminates narrow passages or copious walls to confine the space .  Related: New Day School by MMXVI makes use of existing residential building Architects prioritized the health of the students and the planet through careful material selections. They used the RT 2012 thermal and environmental objectives as their guide. With this in mind, they used wood as the primary building material, which is not only a natural material, but reduces the need for concrete and supports the local forestry industry. Wood is also a renewable resource and acts as a sponge for CO2. In the areas where stone was used, materials were sourced nearby from the Vassens quarries in the Aisne. Located in a dense residential neighborhood, the Simone de Beauvoir elementary school shares commonalities with the nearby Jacqueline Quatremaire kindergarten and the municipal La Farandole nursery school. Although nearby, Simone de Beauvoir creates a natural and manmade separation from the adjacent schools through fencing and plants . The building itself is oriented towards the inner courtyard to create an isolation from the surrounding distractions. However, the courtyard also loosely connects to the kindergarten to form a familiarity for children transitioning from one school to the other while keeping the areas separate.  Inside there is a reception hall, administrative center, food service area and teaching facilities. Another of the four hubs in the design is made up of the leisure center, which acts as a dividing line and simultaneously a connection point to the existing nursery school. The space also incorporates a multi-purpose room, storage room and an open-air garden used as a tool for education and for a healthy, clean-air learning environment.   + Bond Society and Daudré-Vignier & Associés Photography by Charly Broyez 

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Cranbrook School teaches environmental stewardship

July 27, 2021 by  
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Education comes in all forms — books, videos, audio recordings and interactive, hands-on, learning like that taking place at Cranbrook School in the Wolgan Valley, located about three hours north of Sydney, Australia. Students on this campus share experiences uncommon to mainstream education, mainly in the way they are relied upon to actively participate in the buildings’ and site’s upkeep. The idea is to educate students about a host of life skills such as gardening, homemaking, fire-building and even constructing in a hands-on ‘rituals of stewardship’ approach. The campus is the result of a competition that asked designers to develop an architectural design for a new school in a rural area in the Greater Blue Mountains National Park. Andrew Burns Architecture submitted the winning project with an emphasis on the student experience. With the understanding there is no better teacher than experience, students are taught resilience through work. Along with the physical aspects of collecting wood and maintaining a fire in order to heat water for the heater, students learn about providing for others. Similarly, while they nurture the stewardship garden, they give back to the environmental remediation of the land. Related: The River School places classrooms around a central courtyard The campus merges into the natural bluff with a crescent shape for the buildings’ footprint, while still providing the utilitarian aspects of a school. This design also creates efficient access for services across the buildings. In a press release, the architects explained, “The buildings are anchored to the Crescent by a series of chimneys, recalling the remnant chimneys from the neighbouring historic town of Newnes. The buildings rise up from the Crescent to take in the dramatic form of the escarpment, illuminated by easterly morning light.” To further honor the connection with nature, the materials palette came mostly from natural sources such as wood and metal in an effort to make “the buildings…both shelter and pedagogical tools — devices to heighten the experience of landscape and environmental systems.” + Andrew Burns Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Brett Boardman via Andrew Burns Architecture

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Bold incisions grant new life to historic New Hampshire school

February 1, 2017 by  
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A meeting of art and architecture can have energizing results. Rather than demolishing two unusable upper floors of a historic building in New Hampshire, Joseph Cincotta of LineSync Architecture proposed a different approach to the school’s renovation , borrowing inspiration from the work of artist Gordon Matta Clark. And then, in order to further celebrate the building’s rich history, cinematographers Chibi Moku captured the renovation process in a video – check it out after the jump. https://youtu.be/xEgDrH7ZMCE The building has a long and complicated history: it was built as a residence in the late 19th century and altered several times before it became the Hampshire Country School for gifted students with learning differences. Its upper floors were condemned by unsafe stairways while the lower floors lacked organization and natural lighting . Related: New solar-powered Massachusetts college center is as green as a building can be The architects, taking cues from Gordon Matta Clark’s “building cuts”, strategically placed two-storey incisions into the building, adding safe stairs, natural light, and ending clutter in one deft swoop. The modern section of the house references the original design, and the building is now heated with locally-produced wood pellets that lowers its energy consumption. Newly introduced windows infuse the interior with natural light. LineSync Architecture’s interventions granted new life to this beautiful example of historic New England architecture and made it more compatible with its current use. + LineSync Architecture Photos and video by Chibi Moku

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1,700 Flint residents sue the EPA over tainted water

February 1, 2017 by  
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More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan are seeking class action status for a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming it mismanaged the water crisis in the city. The suit was filed in a U.S. District court in Michigan on Monday, and alleges that the agency failed to warn them of the dangers of the tainted water , and did nothing to pressure state or local authorities to address the issue. The plaintiffs are seeking a collective $722 million in damages. According to Reuters , part of the 30-page lawsuit reads, “This case involves a major failure on all levels of government to protect the health and safety of the public. Local, state and federal agencies and employees, working individually and at times in concert with each other, mismanaged this environmental catastrophe.” The EPA had not yet issued a comment on the court action at the time of publication. The water crisis resulted in thousands of children being exposed to water laced with lead , which is known to stunt cognitive development and cause a number of chronic health issues. Researchers believe there is no safe lower limit for lead exposure. Related: EPA regional head steps down after agency rules response to Flint water crisis “inadequate” While the city has switched back to a safe water source as of October 2015, it’s been a struggle for residents to access clean water in the meantime. The previous water system caused irreparable damage to the city’s pipes, and replacing them has been a very slow and expensive process. Though filters are available for residential taps, many are still limiting themselves to bottled water out of fear that contamination may still seep through. Via Reuters Images via Steve Johnson and Wikipedia

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Corridor-free high school in the Netherlands bathes students in natural light

February 11, 2016 by  
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Japan’s Hanazono Kindergarten was designed to keep kids safe during typhoons

May 29, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Japan’s Hanazono Kindergarten was designed to keep kids safe during typhoons Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: architecture for kids , children’s architecture , Japan , japanese architecture , school architecture , school design , Taiwan , typhoons , weather architecture , weather-related design

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