Arab Today, arab today an innovative rutland school shows that lowcost needn\t mean secondrate
Last Updated : GMT 12:32:47
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

An innovative Rutland school shows that low-cost needn\'t mean second-rate

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today An innovative Rutland school shows that low-cost needn\'t mean second-rate

London - Arabstoday

Two newly completed colleges form perfect bookends for the seismic shift in school design policy wrestled into existence by Michael Gove. One of them marks the end of the Learning and Skills Council\'s grand dream of a production line of wow-factor further education buildings. The other signals the beginning of education environments that have more to do with Ikea flatpack-thinking than expressive architecture. And yet the two buildings share key similarities. The very different political generators of London\'s City of Westminster College, and Catmose College in Oakham, Rutland, have ultimately produced loose-fit containers whose spaces are designed to be as socially and educationally flexible as possible. Jonathan Ellis-Miller, designer of Catmose, borrows the language of the great modernist architect, Le Corbusier, to describe that building as a \"machine for learning in, but also a machine that learns\". By that, he means a school or college whose layout and spaces can be straightfowardly redefined through use. By comparison to the relatively cheap, £1,800 per square metre Catmose, the City of Westminster College is a Rolls-Royce project. Designed by the eminent international Danish practice, Schmidt Hammer Lassen (SHL), it is one of the most architecturally striking new colleges or academies in Britain. The college\'s deputy principal, David Pigden, describes its educational offer as \"everything from basic numeracy to degree courses in science. It\'s a very, very wide spread, and our students speak 50 different first languages. We\'ve got a finger in virtually every Ofsted pie.\" The architects have taken the concept of social learning and staged it in an extrovert way with the kind of architecture that won\'t be affordable again in the education sector for many years. The £70m building is 24,000m2 which translates into about £2,900 per square metre, but the coffers that would have funded many others like it are empty. City of Westminster College is the last offspring of New Labour\'s Learning and Skills Council, which was axed in 2009 after seven years and an £11.6bn budget which went into meltdown after management problems. The college\'s bold seven-storey form juts over Paddington Green in a way that defies immediate categorisation. The mini-plaza in front of it, the veering 8.5m high columns in the reception area, the wide cascade of stairs from the first level, the Brazilian slate flooring, and the way the massive floorplates cantilever increasingly outwards as the main façade rises, suggest anything but a school. It could just as easily be a hotel or corporate headquarters. The decision to create an airy, open core to the building has, according to Pigden, moderated behaviour, which had become an issue in the college\'s previous motley collection of buildings on the site: \"We want passers-by to be able to see into the building to see what we\'re doing, to get the idea of one community – and no place to hide,\" And inside, if you were to replace the population of students with relaxed adults bearing luggage, the hotel image gains ground. A central atrium, topped with an ETFE canopy – think high performance bubble-wrap – rises at a dramatic angle through an asymmetric arrangement of balconies, and one waits instinctively for the sound of a cocktail bar pianist or piped muzak; instead, from one of the balcony break-out spaces above, comes the voice of a student involved in an amplified R&B project rehearsal. Despite the college\'s crisp geometry and high-quality finishes, there is an immediate loose-fit feel to it. The first thing that becomes apparent is the sheer amount of open space, natural light and long sight-lines in the 100m-long building – not just across one floor, but across two or three different levels. From the double-height library segment, it\'s possible to see students on the ground floor and two levels up. \"There aren\'t any obvious segregations,\" says Pigden. \"The students have responded brilliantly, and there\'s been a reduction in incidents.\" But he\'s keenly aware that some aspects of its configuration are radical and untested: \"We\'re trying to give the students the possibility of learning in new ways, to learn in ways that suit them best. We wanted this to be a showcase college – SHL\'s design was the wild card – and it\'s given a real sense of change. The design sailed through planning. The council said the college could be a catalyst for regeneration.\" It will certainly be a testbed for educational space-use. SHL\'s London director, Morten Schmidt, said: \"We brought a very dynamic building shape into play so that the visual connectivity was vertical as well as horizontal, with different levels overlapping and creating a mixture of single and double-height spaces.\" There are, broadly speaking, four kinds of learning space here: open social learning zones on parts of the balconies; open areas with white boards that can be partitioned; timber and glass pods, typically for IT-based work; standard classrooms; and science labs. The way these ingredients are laid out, floor by floor, is not always obviously diagrammatic and most parts of the building feel free-flowing, programmatically. There are some clever, and delightful touches. The fifth floor exterior terrace, for example, sits on top of the theatre segment and can be directly connected to four classrooms using folding walls. And the refectory on the third level opens on to another terrace, which overlooks St Mary\'s Gardens, with long views over London. There\'s a distinctly Scandinavian flavour to these features – a mixture of crisp, pragmatic detailing and what Schmidt Hammer Lassen is fond of describing as \"human and democratic\" space. The practice\'s forthcoming library building at the University of Aberdeen will be an even more dramatic expression of light and open space than City of Westminster College. There\'s light and open space at the £23m Catmose College too – but it has been produced for very different reasons. The James Review reflects Michael Gove\'s highly questionable view that the BSF programme allowed architects to cream off outsized profits, and that there should now be learning factories designed with mass production in mind. Catmose combines a 900-pupil academy, Sure Start centre, sports building and outdoor pitches, and a learning disability resource centre. Its design demonstrates Rutland\'s motto, Multum in Parvo – much in little. The college comprises a series of simple aluminium-clad pavilions held up on concrete columns. Classrooms are positioned around the edges of the pavilion, with the central spine spaces used as communal resource and social areas. The pavilions are linked by north-south routes at their upper level. Art studios, workshops, and staff offices run along the two ground floor edges of the pavilions, and above them are science, IT and humanities classrooms. The community hub and learning disabilities resource centre occupy their own pavilions. But, even at a Gove-in-heaven £1,800 per square metre, Jonathan Ellis Miller has managed a showstopper that bears direct comparison with Westminster College\'s atrium space – supersized \"hills\" of double-height steps that rise through the middle of the pavilions\' central atrium spaces to create highly sociable auditoriums. The staircases rise to open-plan libraries on central decks, from which there are views out to the Rutland countryside. Overhead baffles diffuse noise to a remarkable degree, and the lack of distinct route programming around the pavilions seems to work well; there are no obvious bottlenecks of movement. \"And that central space was cheap,\" says Miller. \"That\'s the whole point. We see low cost as the starting-point of school design.\" Miller got the idea from the Hellerup School in Copenhagen, one of Denmark\'s most radical experiments in educational space-use. It seems the architectural authors of the City of Westminster College don\'t yet have exclusive rights to \"human and democratic\" educational design. In our new world of flatpack schools, it\'s significant that vividly social and functionally clear learning environments can be achieved relatively cheaply. Miller is certain that these new-wave schools can eventually be built for about £1,350 per square metre. Buy two, get one free, Mr Gove?

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today an innovative rutland school shows that lowcost needn\t mean secondrate Arab Today, arab today an innovative rutland school shows that lowcost needn\t mean secondrate

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi Kataya explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 18:12 2017 Friday ,24 February

Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models
View News in Arabic - Education: كتب ومراجع وأبحاث
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday