15 Cool Schools Where You’d Never Skip Class
The architecture and design of classrooms can play a significant role in your kids’ learning. Schools with lots of natural light, color, flexibility and social connections can drastically improve how big of a brainiac your mini-me becomes. So forget those stuffy, dated, old classrooms of yesteryear, and read on for a roll call of the sweetest schools spanning the globe. From classrooms without walls to ones that float on water, all 15 of these schools get an A+ in design from us!
1. Telephonplan School, Stockholm, Sweden: In this Swedish school, there are no classes or classrooms. Instead, students are taught in groups. The school’s vision is to create an experience for the individual students where challenging learning environments are most important. (via Education Museum)
2. Makoko Floating School, Lagos, Nigeria: In a city of rising water, these architects truly thought outside of the box to create a school that floats. Complete with a playground and two stories of classrooms, the wooden structure collects solar energy and rain water to make the school partially self-sustainable. (via Arch Daily)
3. Fuji Yochien, Toyko, Japan: Fuji Yochien is a private preschool in the suburbs of Tokyo, where the classrooms are like jungle gyms that wrap around the massive Keyaki trees found on campus. While still acting as the walls of the classrooms, the structure is also a play area where the children are encouraged to create their own rules and games. (via Trendhunter)
5. Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia: Throughout the huge space, hundreds of old desks were re-purposed as movable and flexible dividing screens while bright splashes of color provide a bold and lively backdrop, encouraging interactive, collaborative and social methods of learning. (via Design Boom)
6. Kikuma Watanabe, Sangkhlaburi Village, Thailand: In an attempt to alleviate poverty, architects worked with Thai students, encouraging them to draw their perfect school. One of them drew a flying ship, which was then translated into this design. Yup, it’s a floating school. With two earthy rooms down below, a light steel structure was built of bamboo and a grass roof to create a light and breezy classroom. (via Design Boom)
7. Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland: With an exterior made of blue translucent material, this well-designed art school fits into the rest of the traditional city architecture while making a bold statement. The workspaces are filled with natural light thanks to rows of sky lights. (via Inhabitat)
8. Abedian School of Architecture, Sydney Australia: When designing this school, the architects focused on non-curricula events that take place inside the building, and then incorporated creative architectural details and bright, colorful furniture for a dynamic, functional space where students can readily gain inspiration. We mean, it’s a school of architecture, so it better look good, right? (via Design Boom)
9. Vienna University, Vienna, Austria: Bold colors are definitely a theme at this modern university. Bright oranges, yellows and blues are repeated everywhere from the exterior paint color to the furniture and even the supposedly subdued library. (via Design Boom)
10. Xiaquon Elementary School, Xiaquon, China: After a devastating earthquake, the community pooled together to rebuild the local elementary school. The overall concept is to make the learning environment like a small city, with a labyrinth of passages and playgrounds provoking curiosity and recreating a sense of belonging from having their homes destroyed. (via Design Boom)
11. Loop Kindergarte, Tokyo, Japan: Not a single sharp corner exists in this school; from the floor plan to the window sills, rounded edges make for a kid-friendly environment that is brought to life with 18 vivid colors. The gradually transforming colors are used by the children to identify different areas in the structure so they don’t get lost. (via Lemay Online)
12. Green School, Bali, Indonesia: Voted as one of the greenest schools in the world, this incredible space looks more like a resort than a school! The sustainable bamboo campus includes classrooms, a gym, faculty housing, offices and cafes, and everything is powered by clean energy sources such as hydro-powered vortex generator and solar panels.(via Architecture Lab)
13. Bridge School, Xiashi, China: This school is literally a bridge between two parts of the village that lie on either side of a small creek. Suspended from the building, but running below the classrooms, is a walkway for all the village people to use. (via Architecture Lab)
15. Container Classroom, Cape Town, South Africa: Located on the outskirts of Cape Town, Vissershok Primary School is a rural school dedicated to the children of farm workers and underprivileged communities. It is a teeny tiny recycled container that was converted into a classroom for kindergarten students. The concept could revolutionize education in poorer countries, making it probably the coolest of the cool schools out there. (via Arch Daily)
Would you be able to get any studying done in these incredibly creative spaces? How important do you think classroom design is for learning? Let us know in the comments below!
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!