Ideas Aplenty

Planning to build a new school or renovate existing space? If you are looking for best practices, look no further than the issue in your hands.

American School & University's Educational Interiors Showcase (EIS) — the first and most prestigious national competition honoring exemplary K-12 and higher-education interiors — highlights 100 of the most outstanding learning environments at institutions nationwide. It is your link to the most innovative and exceptional ideas in school and university interior planning and design.

Judging for the EIS takes place over two days by a panel of independent education and architectural professionals (see p. 10). After intense discussion on what constitutes an exceptional learning environment, judges identify myriad concepts and ideas that individual projects must meet or exceed (see p. 12). After careful review and deliberation, 17 projects were awarded citations.

The top K-12 honor — the Crow Island School Citation — was awarded to Eagle Creek Academy, Oakland, Mich., designed by French Associates. “Welcoming and inviting. Appears to be a great place to learn and teach,” states the jury.

The Collegiate Citation — the premier higher-education honor — was presented to University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, for its Student Recreation Center, designed by TMP Associates. According to the jury, the project's outstanding attributes included “good use of indoor and outdoor facilities to encourage physical education.”

This year's jurors — Joe Biluck, Joe Desormeaux and Wayne Brungardt — deserve special thanks for their energy, commitment and expertise.

The concepts and ideas illustrated in this compendium would not be possible without the education institutions and architectural firms that graciously shared their visions of innovative education interior design and planning. Their best practices will ensure today's learning environments continue to welcome and inspire this generation, as well as future generations, of students — and serve as beacons of community pride.

SCORECARD

100

Number of school and university projects selected for inclusion in the 2006 Educational Interiors Showcase — the first and most prestigious national competition honoring outstanding K-12 and higher-education interior environments.

17

Number of citations awarded in this year's competition by an independent jury of education administrators and architectural professionals.

47

Number of elementary and secondary school projects in this year's compendium.

53

Number of college and university projects.

12

Number of projects from Texas, the state with the most schools and universities featured in this year's Educational Interiors Showcase. Massachusetts and Ohio followed with eight projects each.

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