TOP 10 schools and educational buildings of 2018

TOP 10 schools and educational buildings of 2018

educational architecture is a powerful tool for stimulating creativity, as well enhancing concentration, motivation, and understanding. whether it’s a kindergarten, high school, or university, the environment in which we study directly influences how knowledge is absorbed. with this theme in mind, 2018 saw a wide range of educational facilities and school buildings promoting sensitivity towards landscape, flexibility, and the future.


from projects by some of the field’s biggest names, to a prototypical classroom for a high school campus in ghana, take a look at the TOP 10 educational projects and stories featured on designboom over the past 12 months.



1 – liz diller and kazuyo sejima decided this school in brazil was the world’s best new building

children village brazil rosenbaum aleph zeroimage © cristobal palma / estudio palma



this school complex on the edge of the rainforest in northern brazil was deemed the world’s best new building by a jury that included elizabeth diller and kazuyo sejima. the project, the result of a collaboration between two brazilian architecture firms, aleph zero and rosenbaum, won the RIBA international prize 2018 — an honor awarded every two years to a building that ‘exemplifies design excellence and architectural ambition, and delivers meaningful social impact.’

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2 – herzog & de meuron-designed university opens as part of moscow’s skolkovo masterplan

herzog de meuron skolkovo instituteimage © iwan baan



‘skolkovo’ is a new urban community initiated by the russian government. located in moscow, 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) west of the kremlin, the community will offer residents a vibrant and diverse mix of uses across five individual districts. as part of the development, herzog & de meuron was commissioned to design the conceptual masterplan of district 3 with a new university as its centerpiece. the building, which began construction in 2013, is now open to students as the project moves toward full completion.

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3 – bjarke ingels group designs ‘conscious and entrepreneurial’ school in new york by dave burk



in 2017, bjarke ingels group (BIG) revealed plans for a new micro-school in new york. in 2018, the first photographs of the project were revealed with the school term well underway. according to BIG, the design for WeGrow — the first school of office-sharing brand WeWork — seeks to ‘undo the compartmentalization often found in traditional school environments and reinforces the significance of engaging kids in an interactive environment’.

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4 – studio velocity maintains green space within gridded university center

studio velocity aichi universityimage courtesy of studio velocity



in japan, studio velocity presented a multipurpose facility in okazaki-city. the ‘aichi sangyo university educational center language and IT’ contains a language study lab, IT center, presentation space, lounge, and bus shelter. the architects sought to preserve the pastoral integrity of the expansive, sloping site as the programmatic requirements of the client called for minimal conditioned space. initially, a 3500 square-meter courtyard was formed through a clustering of the programs together within a ‘box’ boundary. this gesture distances the occupants from the surrounding buildings and creates an environment which encourages prolonged visits.

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5 – architecture school in miami opens warped concrete studio building by arquitectonica

arquitectonica miami university studioimage by robin hill



arquitectonica extended its long-standing commitment to the university of miami school of architecture with the completion of the ‘thomas p. murphy design studio building.’ the 20,000 square-foot LEED certified structure serves as a laboratory and collaborative space for the next generation of architects. the exposed structure of glass and concrete serves as an expressive teaching mechanism by displaying the basic elements of modern architecture, construction and sustainability.

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6 – this kindergarten in vietnam by kientruc o would make any kid excited for class

dam-vu kindergartenimage by hiroyuki oki



designed by kientruc o, the ‘chuon chuon kim 2 kindergarten’ is built almost entirely of exposed brick. the architects note the project’s similarity to a LEGO building, perhaps added to by the jubilant colors. the brick walls vary, with each section bearing a unique assembly that catches the eye and excites the imagination. the color of the brick is brought out by the use of orange and yellow. it’s an open, beautifully assembled space with a sense of whimsy that can truly make anyone feel like a child again.

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7 – alberto figueroa develops prototypical classroom for a high school campus in ghana courtesy of alberto figueroa



using local materials and construction techniques, spanish architect alberto figueroa developed a prototypical classroom that forms part of a high school campus in ghana’s ashanti region. in addition to engaging local workers, the project also benefited from international volunteers — both architecture students and graduates — who were able to experience sustainable construction systems, such as rammed earth, firsthand.

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8 – brooks + scarpa designs curved yellow charter school in los angeles

TOP 10 schools and educational buildings of 2018image © tara wujcik



on july 22, 2014, a fire destroyed half of a school campus in los angeles. four years after this tragic event, the school has been completely rebuilt. brooks + scarpa reimagined the old campus by creating a new structure that now houses 630 students. facilities are spread across an elongated yellow building that curves to form a courtyard. the site contains more than eleven classrooms, two science labs and other various activity spaces, all filled with light to make the school more pleasant for its students and educators. 

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9 – architecture brio + billionBricks build elevated school in malaysia for marginalized children

billionbricks etania green schoolimage by fernando gomulya



developed in collaboration with harvard business school, etania schools are learning centers for marginalized and stateless children who have little or no access to education. the schools, which offer safety and security, run a full learning program six days a week with all necessary curriculum subjects. billionBricks and architecture brio were asked to draw up plans for a prototypical design that would be the first of 30 schools planned for the malaysian state of sabah.

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10 – manhattanville: everything you need to know about renzo piano’s columbia campus

renzo piano columbia manhattanville forumimage © frank oudeman / columbia university



to contrast the cloistered acropolis of columbia university’s morningside heights campus, renzo piano offers a fresh, contemporary vision of what it means to make a campus in the heart of new york city. ‘manhattanville’ was initially conceived out of the idea that today’s campus must foster a relationship with the surrounding community. the long-term masterplan will be completed in successive phases, the first of which includes the science center, the center for the arts, and the newly completed university forum. while each building is programmatically independent, renzo piano and his team have succeeded in relating them through their materiality, structural detailing, and ground floor relationship. with the unveiling of the university forum, designboom took a comprehensive look at each completed building within the rapidly expanding development.


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see designboom’s TOP 10 stories archive:

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

top 10 towers

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