The Making of Champions

Who's who in education design? That's the question that jury members sought to answer as they reviewed 252 examples of school and university design.

Who's who in education design? That's the question that jury members sought to answer as they reviewed 252 examples of school and university design for American School & University's 2008 Architectural Portfolio competition. The five-member jury traveled from their home states of Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington to convene in Overland Park, Kan., for two days and deliberate what qualities yield champion designs for education facilities. Among their considerations:

Is it a great space for learning?

  • Fits program.
  • Stimulates senses.
  • Fosters educational community.
  • Inspires occupants.

Is it multifaceted?

  • Quality and efficiency.
  • Community use, civic functions, town/gown, student life.
  • Adaptability.

How does it accommodate technology?

  • Building automation.
  • Learning tools.

Is it well-designed?

  • An inviting environment.
  • Relationship to context.
  • Clear diagram.
  • Interior/exterior connection.
  • Visibility.
  • Safe and secure; visual openness/auditory privacy.
  • Appropriate scale/ergonomics.
  • Building as a learning tool.

Is it sustainable and maintainable?

  • Stewardship of finite resources.
  • Holistic/integrate design that permeates.
  • Understanding cost of ownership.
  • Elemental/Compulsories.
  • Independently verified.
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