Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings, and afterward, our buildings shape us.” The intention of architecture in designing educational spaces should be to create a sense of community that strengthens the relationship and quality of interaction between students and teachers and the students amongst themselves and the staff amongst themselves. The space ought to develop energy and optimization such that its users feel enthusiastic and magnetically attracted to it. After all, the students’ engagement in space affects the way they learn. Since the importance of higher education is growing nowadays and individuals spend maximum time indoors, it is essential to ask whether the buildings we study in have the power to influence our ability to be more creative and successful. 

Why School Architecture Matters

According to Stephen from New Vista Designs for Learning, “Hallways often look exactly the same in traditional schools. They are 10 feet wide, lined with lockers, and the classroom doors are all closed” (Minero, 2018). Alas, this kind of practice of designing schools with no-high style, lack of sophistication, and lack of colossal impression in school buildings was seen for many decades across the globe.

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Typical school corridor_©https://medium.com/@AmericanPublicU/providing-support-for-high-school-students-during-covid-19-2a5c52bc5b84

It was realized that a new line of sight into adjacent rooms was necessary to make a learning community and promote cooperation. Leading educational architects also argued that there was a need for a public forum for praising and appreciating student achievement.

The way a school is designed affects students’ behavior and learning

It is important to celebrate a space as being twofold. A space should be designed such that one can accomplish multiple tasks in it. It should have an open environment that is accommodating and transitional. It must conform to the way people work in the twenty-first century. Schools should be designed such that they are open to changes when required in the future. It is essential to provide for the psychological need of a student, i.e., to be able to control and choose the kind of environment they reside in to enhance their learning process. 

Thus the quality of the classroom environment can make or break a student’s experience. Students will feel like they are in jail if the environment does not favor learning. Such a feeling can impact their mental health and academic performance. Because of this, it is critical to design the ideal learning environment for children, paying particular attention to elements like color, light, music, furniture, and more.

Architectural Programming

The arrangement and design of the area are critically important. Everyone should have ample room to walk around, and the environment should be inviting. Teachers are always coming up with newer and more effective ways to teach. However, they are confined to outdated locations that restrict them from providing pupils with the optimum learning opportunities. Thus, identifying key spaces, adjacencies, and square footage requirements of the building program is essential. 

Building transparency, or the idea of visible connectivity, is becoming more and more of a norm when building new schools. Internal areas like corridors, classrooms, and cafeterias that were formerly divided from one another by opaque walls and doorways have now made way for open plans that prioritize glass dividers and clear lines of sight. A more unobstructed line of sight can also help reduce bullying opportunities and secure the learning environment for vulnerable students.

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Each classroom featuring floor-to-ceiling glass walls_©https://www.edutopia.org/article/architecture-ideal-learning-environments

Proposed solutions

Having exciting displays, cheerful and attractive facilities, a range of amenities, helpful personnel, a diversity of activities offered, and a location close to other educational institutions or building complexes are a few factors that may result in a more successful learning environment.

1.Social seating area

For educational institutions to be successful, they must focus on student-centric design, such as creating comfortable seating areas for students to sit and relax after classes. These areas should extend beyond the concentration of a library. These should be in an area where they can socialize with friends and enjoy themselves.

2. Storage for personal belongings

It is high time now that designers of universities start creating spaces for students to store their personal belongings safely in between lectures instead of carrying the heavy baggage around with them all across campus for an entire day. 

3. Need for adaptable furniture

Reading Floor Rockers_©https://ideas.demco.com/idea/flexible-seating-ideas-gallery/#

There is a recognizable need for seats to be adaptable and fluid because different users have various goals. Moreover, some of the primary attractions are reading nooks at each wing’s entrance and student assembly areas that are easily accessible.

4. Natural Lighting

Space must also offer a variety of sensory inputs to stimulate the senses, such as well-lit areas with natural daylight, well-positioned work desks, soft flooring surfaces, and plenty of plants to provide oxygen.

Conclusion

Interior spaces can have a vital contribution to the pupils’ development of their academic and extracurricular skills. Suppose the campus interiors are designed to integrate modern technology and inventiveness. In that case, it also ensures that the child’s social and emotional maturation is complemented by these places naturally. Hence it is necessary to provide choices conducive to learning and personal development.

References 

Minero, E. (2018) The architecture of Ideal Learning Environments, Edutopia. George Lucas Educational Foundation. Available at: https://www.edutopia.org/article/architecture-ideal-learning-environments (Accessed: November 3, 2022). 

Author

Madiha Khanam is an architect and an enthusiast writer. She approaches writing as a creative medium to pen-down her thoughts just like drawing and illustrating. She loves to read and write about architecture, engineering, and psychology. Besides, she loves to watch anime.

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