The five jurors for the 2006 Architectural Portfolio competition were in search of designs that inspire students, use space efficiently, and offer exceptional teaching and learning environments. In their deliberation, they touched on all points of the following criteria:
The design of the learning environment shows originality in its function, the efficiency of its systems and the materials used.
The project supports the institution's mission, fits into its context and blends with the surrounding environment.
The organization, wayfinding and flow of the design meet the institution's needs and support its purpose.
The learning environment is flexible and can adapt to change.
Systems and materials are efficient and durable.
The project answers to environmental concerns.
The design provides a safe and secure learning environment.
The project offers opportunities for students and teachers to gather and collaborate.
Aesthetics are balanced with function. The project's scope, quality and costs are aligned.
The project's design has “spirit” and helps inspire students.
After reviewing the projects, the jury commented that schools sometimes have a tendency to be designed in “silos,” where it is hard for communication or collaboration to take place. Instead, education institutions at all levels should strive to create opportunities for students and teachers to come together. Breakout spaces can be designed to foster interdisciplinary learning and support multiple uses, which can help create culture and community.