Head Of The Class: Architecture + Learning

As education’s role continues to change, the architecture of learning must also evolve.

Kindergarden in Velez Rubio

Education and success often go hand in hand, at least that’s what most of us have been taught in school. Unfortunately, job success is not often as closely tied to education as we would like to think. We are a generation plagued by troubles; the majority of recent college graduates are both over-educated and under-employed, the most popular jobs within the next ten years are not the focus of current studies, and rising student loans have the potential to cripple an entire age group. As education’s role continues to change, the architecture of learning must also evolve. Whether it be colorful primary schools with an emphasis on social interaction, studios that provide hands-on building experience, or technology that allows learning on-the-go, architects have proven themselves instrumental in shaping how we continue to learn.

As a part of the Architizer A+ Awards, The A+ “Learning” Award will honor the most innovative learning experiences (built or unbuilt) from the past three years. With 50 categories and a jury 200-members deep, the Architizer A+ Awards promises to be the biggest architecture awards program ever!

Swanston Academic Building at RMIT

Designed by Lyons
Melbourne, Australia

The 11-story building, one of the largest learning centers in all of Australia, offers a variety of classrooms, lecture halls, and community spaces to encourage social interaction between students. Plus, the three-dimensional, saw-toothed façade is sure fun to look at! Read more about this project on Architizer.


Binh Duong School

Designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Situated in a tropical climate, the design of the Binh Duong School dissolves the borders between the school activity and surrounding nature, while also ensuring not to destroy the current abundant forest as much as possible. Read more about the project in the Architizer database here.


Kindergarden in Velez Rubio

Designed by LosdelDesierto
Almeria, Spain

This colorful kindergarten offers children a mix of classic concrete forms and multi-colored patterns. The linear floor plan is entirely open, with various zones separated by plastic curtains, transforming the narrow space into an open environment for the children to roam. Read more about the project on the Architizer database here.


Bowooss Pavilion

Designed by students from The School of Architecture at Saarland University
Saarbrücken, Germany

Influenced by biomimetics and the examination of systems, structures, and processes found in nature, students at Saarland University designed the temporary research pavilion with the potential for “the discovery of entirely new design principles.” Read more about this project on Architizer.


Affordable House Designed And Built By Yale Students

Designed and built by students at the Yale School of Architecture (YSOA)
New Haven, Connecticut

This year’s entry in YSOA’s annual Vlock Building Project program, the house features dramatic cantilevers, carefully student-crafted fixtures and details, and, of course, an affordable price tag. The house is the largest in the program’s forty-five-year history, and construction offered many students their first opportunity on a building site. Read more about the project here.



Harvard Graduate School of Design: Ecological Urbanism App

An adaptation of the Harvard GSD book of the same name

The Harvard Graduate School of Design released the new “Ecological Urbanism” app last month that allows designers to explore subjects like urbanism and environmentalism on the go. Combing data from around the world, the app “reveals and locates current practices, emerging trends, and opportunities for new initiatives” in regard to the future of cities. The app is available for purchase at the iTunes store here.


Bakkegaard School

Designed by CEBRA a/s, SRL Architects
Gentofte, Denmark

The flat body of the building connects the school’s existing buildings while the green façade adds color and life to the dormant town. New multi-purpose areas and garden space have been added to the surrounding site, while the interior takes inspiration for famed brutalist designs. Read more about this project in the Architizer database here.


Prinsessegade Kindergarden and Youth Center

Designed by COBE, NORD, and landscape architects PK3
Copenhagen, Denmark

The winning design for the new Prinsessegade Kindergarden and Youth Center is more than just a school. Equipped with its own neighborhoods, houses, parks, and even a stadium., the aim of the small “city” is to provide the tools and facilities for kids who want to do “absolutely anything.” Read more about this project on Architizer.


École Centrale engineering school

Designed by OMA
Paris, France

The winning entry for the design of the new École Centrale engineering school, OMA’s conceptual “lab city” places the school in a grid that allows for interaction and the completion of various activities while offering “the freedom to generate a new typology for learning.” Read more about this project on Architizer.


Spatial Structures

Studio at Dartmoor Arts Project
Devon, United Kingdom

The Dartmoor Arts ‘Spatial Structures’ course is a summer studio, geared to architectural students, architects, designers and all around “makers”. Students are given the chance to work directly in the field, with an emphasis placed on materials and place. London-based Jerry Tate Architects worked with students to create a woven treehouse for the Summer 2012 course. Read more about this project on Architizer.

Architizer is hosting the world’s definitive architectural awards program, with 50+ categories and 200+ jurors. As part of an ongoing series, we’re spotlighting projects that fit the “Plus” categories, which tap into topical and culturally relevant themes. Today, in an effort to show you examples of good candidates for the Plus awards, we present ten “Architecture + Learning” projects. To see a full list of categories and learn more about the awards, visit