Sunday, December 13, 2009

Abu Dhabi to Build 18 New Schools

A model for the design of future school buildings in Abu Dhabi was unveiled at the first Building Schools Exhibition and Conference – Middle East and North Africa (BSEC-Mena) held in the capital.

The design concept for school buildings was launched by the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (Adec). To introduce the model for future implementation in all school structures, Adec will construct 18 schools in Abu Dhabi and around its suburbs starting in mid-2010.

According to the council, the 18 new buildings will have a design concept that will provide an atmosphere where students are encouraged in academics while simultaneously enjoying spacious premises, playgrounds and facilities for sports activities that provide for all-round growth and development of an individual.

The design program claims it will provide a learning environment of the highest quality that supports teaching methods and new curricula but from the images provided (left) there doesn't seem to be much that is truly innovative in these schools. Beautiful hallways, spacious classrooms, good lighting and well-modulated heating and lighting are a good start but schools should support the teaching program as well as the architectural agenda.

Schools should be built to accommodate interactive exhibits like good museums so that the curriculum is reinforced by the images, objects, spaces, and experiences provided. The halls and walls of schools should be part of the learning program. Production designers for museums, theme parks, movies and theater need to be brought in to work with architects to create environments for learning (right) that amplify student learning through real, simulated and virtual story-telling environments.

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