Under the Auspices of:

Association of Engineers and Architects in Israel.

Israel Institute of Architects & Town Planners.

The Ministry of Education and Culture

Department for Schooldevelopment

The Union of Local Authorities.



- The Seminar Organizing Committee 3

- General Information 3

- Subject of the meeting 5

- Description of the Elementary School Visit 9 -13

- Seminar Exhibition 14

- Abstracts of the Key - Lectures and Papers 15 - 76



Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Israel Institute of Architects feels privileged and honored to host the U.I.A International Seminar of the Working Group on Educational and Cultural spaces.

We are fortunate that such an important subject matter as "The Elementary School towards the year 2000" has brought us here together.

The Elementary school is the cornerstone of the Educational System.

In the elementary school the young child spends the most important period of his developing years. Here he gets the fundaments of his educational training.

No wonder that it is of special interest to create a suitable environment for the most important engagement that one has in a lifetime.

In the coming days we will have the privilege to meet planners, educators and administrators, all of them engaged in the subject of this meeting. Some of them have come from distant

countries to bring us their message.

Let us try all of us to make a contribution and use this special occasion going a step forwards towards a happy future for our children.

It is my pleasure on behalf of the national organizing committee to welcome you to Jerusalem with the traditional greeting of "Beruhim Haba'im" - Blessed are you in coming".

I wish you fruitful deliberations and a very pleasant stay in Israel.

Jaacov Hertz.

Chairman of the organizing committee.



Arch. David Reznik - Chairman of the Israel Inst. of Architects & Town Planners.

Dr. Gideon Ben Dror - Senior Adjunct Director of the Ministry of Education & Culture.

Mr. Kalman Dinis - Director of the Corporation for Local Authorities Economic Services

Arch. Jaacov Hertz - Chairman organizing committee.

Arch. Zeev Druckman - Dean of Faculty of Architecture, Bezalel School of Art,


Mrs. Betty Politi - Project Director of The Inst. for Development'of Educational and Cultural Facilities.

Arch. Gabriela Nuszbaum - Chief Architect of Public Building Section. Ministry of Housing.

Arch. Moshe Laufenfeld - Arch. Consultant to the Ministry of Education & Culture.


The Seminar activities on Monday - April 19 and Tuesday - April 20, except for the social activities in the evening, will be held in the auditorium of "The Israel Museum", Jerusalem.

You are kindly requested to register for the Reception and the visit to the Elementary schools in the northern part of the country with the seminar secretariat.

For the Schoolvisit separate buses will depart from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.

The Workshops on Thursday - Apr. 22 and the Discussion and Summing up on Friday - Apr. 23 will be held by the U.I.A Working Group at the Maale Hahamisha Kibutz Hotel.

Those who are interested to participate in these activities can register with the Seminar Secretariat.


List of U.I.D delegates.


Prof. Anton Schweighofer, Vienna


Jacobo Schneider, Buenos Aires.


Prof. Stefan Popov, Sofia


Joao Hanorio de Mello Filho, San Paulo


Henri Peronne, Paris


Prof. Frid. Biihler Munchen

Great Britain

William Ainsworth, Newcastle

Robin Bishop, London


Yannis Michail, Athens


Jerry Lawrence, F.A.I.A. Tacoma - Washington




"The Elementary School towards the year 2000"


In many aspects Education differs from what it used to be.

First of all teaching is no longer a one-way delivery of knowlege by the teacher but a dialogue between teacher and pupils. We will find the child in the center of the educational process.

In general there will be an increased involvement of the parents in the education of their children and of the community in the activity and the performance of the school.

The above mentioned educational aspects and the dynamics of progress in Science and Technology, to mention only the use of computers and new means of communication, create a perspective view towards a different school.

Talking about education towards the year 2000 we may say: The year 2000 has already arrived.



Sunday - Apr. 18: Afternoon Arrival of participants from abroad.

18.00 - - Registration of participants from abroad.

Monday - Apr. 19:

8.30 - 11.00 - Morning. tour of Jerusalem and vicinity for participants from abroad.

11.00 - 11.30 - Registration of participants from Israel.

11.30 - 13.00 - Opening of the Seminar

Chair: Arch David Reznik

Addresses by:

- Arch. David Reznik

Chairman of the Israel Inst. of Architects & Town Planners.

- Arch. Giannis Michail,

Sec of the U.I.A Working Group "Educational and Cultural Spaces"

- Mrs. Shulamit Aloni

Minister of Education & Culture

- Video film: Elementary Schools in Israel.

13.00 - 14.30 - Lunch

14.30 - 16.00 - Presentation of Key-Lectures

Chair: Dr. Gideon Ben-Dror

Lectures by:

- Dr. Gideon Ben-Dror. Israel

- Prof. David Chen. Israel

- Prof. Anton Schweighofer – Austria

16.00 - 16.15 - Coffee Break

16.15 - 17.15 - Presentation of Key-Lectures

Chair: Arch. Giannis Michail

Lectures by:

- Prof. 0lle Wahlstrom - Sweden

- Arch. Jerry Lawrence F.A.I.A U.S.A.

19.30 - 20.30 - Reception by the Jerusalem branch of the Israel Inst. of Architects & Town

Planners at the "Old Bezalel Building"

20.30 - 21.30 - Lecture by:

- Arch. Jannis Michail, Greece

"The Restauration of the antique - old town of Athens Plaka".

Tuesday - Apr. 20:

9.00 - 11.00 Presentation of papers

Chair: Mr. Kalman Dinis, Prof. 0lle Wahlstrom Papers by:

- Mr. Kalman Dinis - Israel

- Arch. Robin Bishop - Great-Britain

  • Arch Dick Mooij - Netherlands - Prof. Frid &Uhler. Germany Prof. 011e Wahlstrom - Sweden

  • Arch. William-Ainsworth, Great - Britain

11.00 - 11.15 Coffee break.

11.15 - 13.00 Presentation of papers

Chair: Mrs. Betty Politi, Arch. Lajos Jeney Papers by:

  • Mrs. Betty Politi - Israel

  • Arch. Harry Brand - Israel Arch. Petre Swoboda - Romania Arch. Lajos Jeney - Hungary Arch. Jan Dolfjsi - Slovakia

  • Arch. Henri Peronne - France

13.00 - 14.30 Lunch

14.30 - 16.00 Presentation of papers

Chair: Arch. Luut Rienks Arch. Zeev Druckman

Video Film: Elementary Schools in the Kibutzim

Presentation by Arch. Yael Kalush & Arch. Hanan Hebron.

Papers by:

- Arch. Zeev Druckman - Israel

- Arch. Eli Armon - Israel

- Arch. Jacobo Schneider - Argentine

- Arch. Luut. J. Rienks - Netherlands

  • Mr. Kees van der, Zwet - Netherlands

16.00 - 16.15 - Coffee Break

16.00 - 18.00 - Presentation of papers

Chair: Arch. Gabriela Nussbaum, Arch. Jacobo Schneider

Papers by:

- Prof. Jaacov Rechter - Israel

Arch. Gabriela Nussbaum - Israel

Arch. Gert Gutman - Israel

Arch. Tsvi Lissar - Israel

Arch. Kalman Katz - Israel

Arch. Dan Eyal – Israel

20.30 - "Meet the Israeli",

The members of the working Group

will be invited to the homes of Jerusalem citizens.

Wednesday - Apr. 21:

08.00 - 18.00 - Visit to Elementary Schools in the northern part of Israel.

For detailed program see page 8

Thursday - Apr. 22:

9.00 - 11.00 - Workshop

11.00 - 11.15 - Coffee Break.

11.15 13.00 - Workshop.

13.00 - 14.30 - Lunch.

14.30 - 16.00 - Workshop

16.00 - 16.15 - Coffee Break

16.15 - 18.00 - Workshop

18.30 - Farewell Dinner

at Mei-Naftoah, Lifta for members of the U.I.A Working Group.

Friday - Apr. 23

9.00 - 11.00 - Closing Session - Discussion and Summing up.


Wednesday - Apr. 21

8.0 - - Bus leaving,


9.00 - - Bus leaving,


10.00 - 10.45 - "Nili" Elementary School,

Zichron Jaacov

11.15 - 12.00 - "Noffim" Elementary School, Haifa.

13.00 - 13.45 - "Irissim" Elementary School, Karmiel

14.00 -15.00 - Lunch

16.00 - 16.45 "Gimmel" Elementary School,


17.30 - Bus returns in Tel-Aviv

18.30 - Dinner at Maccabim for U.I.A

working group members

21.30 - Bus returns in Jerusalem.




The Seminar exhibition is composed of four subjects:

Seven elementary schools presenting new trends in schoolbuilding in Israel.

Four projects with new approaches for physical solutions of elementary schools, These projects were prepared during a workshop for young architects. This workshop was organized as a preparation for the U.I.A seminar in Jerusalem and the Architects World Congress in Chicago, U.S.A. June 1993.

A presentation of the Israel Institute for Development of Educational and Welfare Facilities A presentation of the Corporation for Local Authorities Economic Services.


  1. - "Maoz Hamaccabim" Elementary School, Maccabim Zeev Druckman, Adam Eyal, Dan Eyal, Architects

  2. - "Nili" Elementary School, Zichron Jaacov Edna Lerman, Rafael Lermani Architects

  3. - "Jechidani" Elementary School, Yavne Rafael Abraham, Ezra Rogan, Architects

  4. - "Tsemach" Elementary School, Ashdod Shimon Pozner, Gideon Pozner, Architects

  5. - "Jut Quarter" Elementary School, Ashdod

  • Jaacov Hertz, Uri Fogel, Doron Schwarz, Architects

6-7 - Presentation of the Ministry of Housing including

- "Irisim" Elementary School", Carmiel

Jaacov Ivri, Architect.

- "Givat Haslaim" Elementary School - Rosh Ha'ain Adam Eyal, Dan Eyal, Architects

- "Elath Maarav" Elementary School - N. Meister G. Egra Architects.

8-9 - Presentation of the Israel Institute for Development of Educational and Welfare Facilities

This Presentation shows the theoretical foundations of new approaches in Schoolbuilding based on new peadagogic and technologic developments

10. Presentation of the Corporation for Local Authorities Economic Services Showing the

activities of the Corporation in the field of Infrastructure and Educational Facilities

11-12 - Projects from the Workshop for young architects.

- 1"School in the Community / The community School"

Barak Tsipor, Martha Estrikin, Architects, Moran Palmoni, Tsvi Barosh,

Sharon Bar, Students.

- 2 "A Future School as a Computerized Environment"

Tsvi Lissar, Architect.

  • 3 "The School as an Urban Event" Edna Langental, Tal Nissim, Architects

  • 4 "A school at the Park", Benni Perri, Anat Mor Awi, Architects.





Dr. Gideon Ben-Dror - Israel

Shaping the future character of education in light of a dynamic modern reality, requires preparation.

We do not mean engaging in futuristic speculation, but rather a thorough assessment of the future based on socio-educational approaches and conceptions.

There is no consensus on any single paradigm. The formula for the future needs to be a diversified menu of possibilities and differential solutions, based on the assumption that the system is highly pluralistic, in terms of its organizational structure as well as its educational programs and curricula.

The strategy used to prepare for the future should be derived from educational approaches and conceptions which would manifest themselves in the system's overall structure and its educational institutions.

A. The System

The educational system is usually a "federal organization" that functions as a coalition of several major components.

Formulating the future based upon the relevant system which we plan and foresee, the plans aimed at preparing for the year 2000 and directing attention toward "the future school" must be mapped and viewed within the essential context of the system as a whole, while also considering each specific educational institution as a lone sample of progress, in order to illustrate the close affinity linking the various components to one another.


  1. The Ministry of Education and Culture.

  2. The Educational System.

  3. The Educational Environment.

In addition to these, there is an extensive and diversified list of organizational and professional agreements which serve as a foundation for the efficient operation of the system in conjunction with all of its associates. They may significantly affect change, and thus help to plan for the future.

in such a large and complex "federal system" containing a wide spectrum of options to supplement its strength, but also surrendering to certain inherent weaknesses, it becomes imperative to discuss all features present, so as to provide an accurate picture of what must be adjusted to meet the demands of the year 2000.

B. Global Processes - Changes and Challenges

In many educational systems over the world, people attempt to challenge intellectually the processes that have recently arisen and that have influenced the system's preparations for the

future, accenting many aspects, such as democratization and equity in education , telecommunications, computers and video tapes, latest scientific developments, most modern industrial technology , most advances discoveries and inventions in medicine, agriculture, aviation and transportation etc.

Today it is commonplace to speak about preparing for the "year 2000 ", and it is necessary to take this opportunity to present a number of facets and assumptions relevant to our discussion.

When the "Sputnik" was launched in 1957 the shocked the United states along with the rest of the world to its technological affect and its geopolitical significance . The launching of the Sputnik served as a central catalyst in reinforcing U.S. technological efforts whit multifarious consequence for American society regarding gross national product distribution as well as the expectations of its educational system.

The international developments of computers and telecommunications have been individually conceptualized over the last decade as part of the "global village" idea . this conception is relevant to each nation in particular and to the interrelations shared with other countries in the international web of growth . "The knowledge and information explosion" ("The Third Wave") has recently come to fore, influencing all aspects of life from primary education to senior high schools, from pre-school levels to university programs,even reaching sports, the arts, cultural and industrial activity. The sheer volume of newspapers and other periodicals, the multitudinous television channels, the diverse accomplishments in satellite communications and the instruments used for inter-personal communications (telephone, beeper, cellular phones) have all created a new social and humanistic reality which has become an integral part of our daily life. The extent of street traffic, the types of railway transport, the use of airplanes, which facilitate rapid mobility and connections, all constitute parts of the current social dynamism witch will accompany us into the future.

The importance of science and technology has grown in the past years as man's consciousness expanded to realize that these discipliners are central to learning processes and a more complete understanding of the world around him. Thus, in order to prepare students for life in this world, we must underscore these subjects.

In 1983 a U.S public commission published a report entitled "Nation at Risk" The report harshly criticized the educational system throughout the United States in terms of scholastic achievements as well as the degree of social cohesion as the expressed in the school system.

Positive action and new recources were gradually invested in education for the benefit of teachers, curricula, underprivileged students etc.

The message we can draw so far is this: despite all that has been accomplished, the educational system is still regarded with unease and dissatisfaction. We must act differently, make changes and strive for greater objectives.

Considerable research has ben conducted to study different aspects of the educational system: academics, pedagogy, teacher training, social integration, levels of education and achievement. Also examined have been those elements that affect the individual pupil, the classroom itself, the school and the relationship that the school shares with the town or the community.

New concepts and forms of alternative education have also been developed in Israel. "Hands on" education, such as learning by doing, the "open school", schools based on individualized instruction, experimental schools, environmental schools, schools with labor value orientations, schools for the arts, NOAM (for boys) and ZIVA (for girls) religious high schools, and term "settlement school" as a replacement for what had been known as the "agricultural school". are examples of alternative educational ideas.

Experts speak of effective education, efficient schools, of autonamous schools, community schools, etc. the schools, the community and the parents are searching for their educational institution"s identity. They create an "educational identification", expecting better results and further developed education.

Recently an element of inter-school competition has entered into the educational systems in several countries through "school choice" method.

Many educational systems are displeased with what is taking place internality and wish to effect immediate, short-term change as well as mid-range and long-term improvements.

In Miami Florida, Dr. Joseph Fernandes, superintendent of the Date County schools, initiated, in 1985, a new program whose challenge was to create an "educational renaissance" by strengthening the autonomy of a school and its faculty. trained by a new methodology of delegating more authority from the central and local powers to the individual school. This system was called "school-based management shared decision-making".

Concurrently, the city of Chicago, Illinois, presented an innovative program which also stressed the principle of more school and faculty autonomy. It was called "school site management/school based government"

Dissatisfaction with the present situation and the desire to strive for better results in the future practice of education arise constantly, taking different forms, in Israel, as well.

Dr. Caspi of Israel published, in 1973, a booklet entitled "The Practice of Education in the Future in the Mirror of the Present". He attempted to address future alternatives, population explosion in the year 2000, the knowledge explosion, the necessity for innovative educational change and other issues.

Professor Dan Indar of Israel dealt with this subject in his article "Alternative Futures in Education - Educational Strategy and Challenges" (1978). He sought a normative approach in order to establish objectives for the future.

Israel Professor called for the development of statistic thinking to encompass Israel's educational goals and the definition of new effective ways to achieve these goals.

The year 2000 has become a concept imbued with the challenge of confronting the uncertainty of social and technological developments, combined with a desire to overcome existing defects.

In fact we are living through a new and fascinating era of "recycling" reforms. In other words, one begins to plan necessary reforms (pedagogical, scientific, technological, organizational, structural) for their preparation and eventual execution.After several years have passed, there is already a need to confront a new reality requiring more advanced tools.

In the modern reality planning for the years 2000 and 2010 has been coupled with a special life rhythm requiring quick reactions. This rule applies to the U.S as well as the process lately witnessed in Japan, Eastern Europe and Western Europe. We in Israel, sense this pattern, too.

Let us take a look at a specific example:

The president of the United States published a massive, comprehensive document in1991 entitled "America 2000 - An Educational Strategy", witch has appeared in a source book form and constitutes an administrative collection of charts and reflections.

The president called for a change in the American schools and said that the days of the "status quo" are numbered. He wanted educational progress and innovation. He envisaged America as a nation of students, presenting five major subjects for study: Mathematics, Science, English, History and Geography. He also demanded greater accountability for the emerging results and

emphasized the need for higher standards in the schools.

C. How will the school of the future look?

What image will society project, what character will the educational system promote, what changes will occur so as to influence the system consequentially?

The word "school" here includes the entire system .to witch the individual schools, with their respective students, parents and surrounding communities, belong. The changes in schools will express urban, demographic, technological, political and social evolutions. These elements have an effective influence on the schools of the future in Israel and elsewhere.

The year 2000 is no longer very far away. Perhaps we should speak of the year 2010. In preparing for the future epoch we come into dilemmas such as ideological questions of priorities and values. To achieve an appropriate design, we must first establish certain guidelines which will serve as the infrastructure for the nature that the future school is to nurture, and I would suggest the following:

  1. To continue aspiring for 100% attendance in class, while focusing on weak students, in order to prevent dropping out.

  2. To initiate reforms while simultaneously striving to attain stability.

  3. To provide a strategy which will yield conceptual operational and structural flexibility, while preserving stability and con continuity.

  4. The technolgical dimension, in its broadest sens, and regarding computers in particular, will continue to influence society and schools significantly. This pattern is also appliable to telecommunications. We need to take appropriate action in order to guarantee satisfactory results.

  5. Accommodating increasing parental and community demands, for specialized, experimental and unconventional schools, and consistent social balance is to be preserved.

  6. The strengthening of the decentralization process as well as the trend of granting more thorough autonomy to the individual schools, should continue.

  7. An increase in the school's role as community centers will intensify.

  8. The sciences, in their broadest scope, will remain a major concern in the future development of every discipline.

  9. To deal with dilemmas arising from confrontations between conflicting values, e.g: quality vs. quantity, integration vs. exclusivity, equal opportunity vs. gaps in skill acquisition, varying levels of resources in the respective communities, the democratization of learning processes (open to all) vs. differential consumption of national wealth, lowering drop-out statistics vs. consideration for individual uniqueness, etc.

  10. Changes and reforms are periodically mandatory in modern reality.

A totally new reality will have been created, presenting us with a new set of challenges:

  1. Linking the school experience to academic institutions and industrial production, will combine the student's education with supportive elements from the actual, practical working world.

  2. The student will be able to complement school instruction with home learning. through the independent use of a computer connected to the school's network along with auxiliary telephone and television devices.

Anticipated reforms, such as the consolidation of this system, should also facilitate additional steps, whose blossoms have already begun to flourish in Israel educational system:

1. The advance appointment of school principals - two situations require the appointment of school principals: a vacant post in an existing school (when the incumbent principal leaves) and the need to hire a principal for a school not yet in existence. The early appointment of the principal to a new school allows him or her an excellent head start for establishing authority as a stabilizing factor.

  1. Decentralization must be further introduced in the planning of educational institutions under the auspices of local authorities, according to a principal of fixed cover (spatial and financial allocations) - flexible interior (functional distribution and possible alteration). Meaning - the local authority will formulate its own future.

  2. in order to stabilize and provide continuity for planning and actions, a long-term budget must be adopted, both for current expenses and for development costs. The present situation of decisions based on annual budgets, is too narrow in scope to be able to suit the changing nature of educational needs,

  3. There is an immediate need for a big teacher training program.

  4. Teaching with computer in the classroom is going to be the major teaching method.

  5. Resources centers (library, laboratories, computers), will become central in schools.

  6. Capability to draw information from centers (information center) is also a substantial development.

We are facing the extraordinary challenge of shaping the future school while planning for the 21st century. All over the world, and in Israel, too, attempts and experiments in this direction are already under way as is the crystallization of a new type of thinking.



Prof. David Chen

School of Education, Tel Aviv University

The design of contemporary schools is based first and foremost on the notion of the school as a production line. The principles underlying the 20th century schools were conceived during the industrial revolution period and conform to classical Newtonian mechanics: Linear motion towards prefixed goals, standardization of processes and output, lack of adaptive capacity, centralized control and limited structural differentiation. Paradoxically, schools utilize 15th century technology, and have managed to remain labor intensive organizations to this very day. These are the direct origins of the universal crisis in education.

Education is the social mechanism that mediates between construction of individual knowledge (ontogenetic knowledge) and the public knowledge (phylogenetic knowledge). It is human beings and not raw materials that are at the center of the educational enterprise.

The mechanical framework for education will have to be replaced by a humanistic approach that emanates from a human perspective. This approach calls for engaging the following principles:

- Diversity - student population is diverse and not standard. This principle should be recognized in the structure and function of learning organizations.

- Learning is not necessarily a linear function of time.

- Knowledge is not necessarily structured hierarchically.

  • Growth of knowledge calls for differentiation and specialization of the learning organization.

  • Most of the public knowledge will be carried out by electronic and optical technologies rather than print.

The design of innovative learning systems should search for new ideas that place man at the center of a dynamic, interactive learning environment and engage time and space in relation to organismic rather than physical metaphor.


Prof. Anton Schweighofer - Austria

"How can we survive?" is a central question of today's youth. "How do we want to survive?" is the consequence of this question. It is the task of teachers and architects to make schools a place where these challenges can be met, and not a place where young people kill the most beautiful time of their life.

I present three topics for discussion in the seminar, in order to help - as the Israel architect Leopold, Krakauer has put it - "a crooked line that wants to become straight" to actually do so. "In so many aspects education differs from what it has been".

  1. A school for a new way of living.

  2. A school of the new within the old

  3. A school of variety within unity.

In the following these three topics shall be discussed and visualized. They are not intended to be utopic or idealistic but realistic and practical.

The intended impact on pedagogics and architecture refers to the ideas of the philosopher Hans Jonas. "The principle of responsibility" is an answer to the many possible futures and puts the responsibility for our actions concerning man and nature at the beginning of our considerations. It is important to make clear that there are problems, that nature is endangered and that a voluntary reduction of our demands should guide our thoughts and actions in order to leave the following generations a habitable world. This is a task that begins in the families and an ability that should be developed in the schools.

Thesis 1:


The environmental situation of almost every part of the world is dangerous for human life at present, and an existential challenge for the future.

We have to learn a responsible relationship with nature. An extensive environment-oriented education has to begin in school. We know much today, maybe we know enough. But man lacks sensual experience. There has to be the brain and the heart, says the Swiss ecologist Krippenhof. And where else but in school shall this be experienced and trained ?

Thesis 2:


The future has always begun in the present, and there is no present without the past. We have been building schools since we have begun to build at all, and maybe we have built too many. It is not the quantity we should ask for but the quality. And quality can also be achieved through adaption and extension, through dealing with the existing while taking the current needs into consideration. This is the field of our architectural responsibility in regard to economy, form and function. The shift towards the new has to prove itself mainly within the old.

Thesis 3:


There is no need for uniformity: let's do away with "school-architecture", "school-furniture", "school-uniforms" and "school-people".

The workman, the gardener and the craftsman will all be teachers in their profession, and their skills will be regarded as equal with academic knowledge in the future.

"Take your own chair with you to school", I provocatively demanded as early as 1964 and recently at the UlA seminar at Stockholm. I present this demand again, as I believe it has more to to with the topic of this seminar than one might believe. It includes the demands for participation, tolerance, identification, respect, responsibility, humanism, integration, multicultural aspects and economy, just to mention some important points. This demand can be implemented most easily and thus effectively.


Four examples of school building from 1953-1993, visualizing the change of the main idea, what a school building should be (a home, a city, a garden, etc). The changes are influenced by the change of "Zeitgeist".

  • A school-building with a home-image, small is "beautiful".

  • A school-building as a city-center with different spaces for activity-areas, possibilities to act and to develop an own creativity, a behaviour concept.

  • A school-building wih different pre-formed decorative spaces (post modern?), only nicely intelligent situated in an urban area.

* A school-building with an over designed dynamic visual concept, with less possibilities for the user to create their own spaces.


A project for the Bezallel Academy is an example for the statement. It respects the existing building in context, in architecture, in construction. It is sensitive to the "genius loci" (the wall, street, public, private, dimension, material, entrance...) and a concept, that tradition, history, remembering, identification and the "character of architecture" mean.


The different principles of architectural design-concepts in a drawing, as an example, how also in the future the school-building should differ, as the education ideas and their specific values. It is again the "different architectural character" of educational spaces and the architectural language it is asking for.


PROCESS - KNOWLEDGE - DEDICATION Professor 0lle Wahlstrom Sweden


Winston Churchill once said when he opened a new building. "First we form the building then the building forms us". I think this is a very important and wise remark. It is also true. To keep this maxim alive when we design new school buildings for the next century, must be the architects' foremost responsibility and challenge.

We always must bear in mind, that what kind of environment we design influences children and teachers in a favorable or injurious way, It also means that even if the teachers' achievement means 90% of the total influence and the architects' (the built environment) only 10%, we must work extremely hard and dedicated to design the best imaginable school buidings. This is an oversimplified comparison in order to elucidate my ethical message to the architects. In reality it's obvious that we can't divide the influence of teachers and environment that simple way. The integration between the teachers and the environments influence on the educational "climate" in the school is much more complicated than that, but as architects we can influence the environment in many ways. Let me incidentally bring forward a simple functional lay-out question, All inquiries show us that there is a direct relation between for instance, how far a store room for education equipment is located from a classroom and how often the teacher in this classroom uses the equipment. In other words a proper lay-out is important to make the daily work in the school easier.


To meet the great number of often contradictory factors we have to take care of and handle as architects in school building design we have to work in a very systematic way. Simply to be able to manage the design process for an Elementary School in a highly qualified way. To do so. is our responsibility to the schoolchildren and their teachers. I know that many of our colleagues think, that a systematic approach to the architects design process is killing his creativity. It's not true and only an excuse not working hard enough and real professional. All the most outstanding architects I know have something in common, no matter how different they are. They are designing in a very systematical way, with an excellent control of the design process.

The famous Danish architect Jorn Utzon (arch. of The Sidney Opera House) said in a lecture. "My design process is a process of building up knowledge of different kinds which I store in a "Design base". From that base I am making design excursions trying to catch a solid idea or vision for my project. When I get a feeling of approaching a dead end, because I have not enough sufficient knowledge in my design base, I go back to my design base and refill it with more adequate knowledge. In this way I am pending until I am through the design process".

Why this systematization? The answer is of course. You develop a map of your "landscape of Architecture", which gives you a great freedom to operate and create good architecture. According to my opinion it's also extremely important for an architect involved in school building design to be master of the design process, because we have that special responsibility, no matter if it's in a rich or poor country. The responsibility is the same! The better we master our design process the greater freedom we get.

If we for a moment, again think about Churchills sentence.... then the building forms us" we also understand that if we create an unpleasant school environment it may influence the schoolchildren in a negative way, may be for their lifetime. It sounds ominous. And it is! So we should never allow ourselves to design a school building as a routine job.

It seems as if I try to teach you how to design an Elementary School, which you must regard to be very arrogant, in front of the most qualified audience I can think about. Of course it's not my intention, but at such a seminar as this, we always are focusing on the result, the completed building, the environment. Not the process to reach the goal, the result. That's why I with great obstinacy keep myself to the process to begin with, not least because I am sure of the importance of a good process for the quality of the result. Or "as you make your bed, so you must lie on it". Unfortunately it's not you, but the children and the teachers, who must lie on the bed.

As all architects in the audience know, a design process is a kind of catching a vision and the struggle to keep that vision alive through the process. A process characterized by its tentative nature ("a trial and eror method") The core of this method is the architects ability to put together incommensurable factors to form a whole. The factors can be; function, pedagogic, climate. equipment, scale, environment, aesthetics,etc. The design process moves from an outline idea to a concrete building in a more or less chronological sequence, as we know.

I like to penetrate some of those factors a little bit deeper. FUNCTION

Function is an elusive and overused term. For me function - a good function - is how the building works for everyday life. A good sketch lay-out is the base for good function (concentration, well-arranged, minimum of communication area, library in the middle, marked entrance, etc). But a good function is much more than that, On a more detailed level the carefully designed details for a classroom are essential for children and teachers and an important part of the function.

Lighting (daylight and artificial) is also a very important factor for a proper function, not to mention the acoustics and the air-conditioning.

There are of course no strict borders between different factors. And for the architects it's important to be familiar with the pedagogical method the teachers are practicing because they influence the function. Pedagogical methods and function are hard to separate. They are two sides of the same coin.

One of the problems with the architects' profession is that we know a little about almost everything. We are typical generalists. And we are very proud of it. I think we had to be generalists to be good architects. But there is a danger we must be aware of. When we design buildings with complex activities, such as education under permanent change it's not enough to follow the new "trends" in education in a normal way. We must study the educational process and change in pedagogics, very carefully. We can't continue with only scraping the surface. We had to get the education performance "under our skin".

It means much closer collaboration between architects and teachers. Architects had to be in the school much longer to absorb what's going on. With such a deeper knowledge and understanding we can have more qualified discussions with teachers and ask the right questions. I am afraid it means, we are going to be more of a specialist in school building design. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day A specialized generalist!

The teachers can tell us what they think is important to create a good working condition in the school. But it's the architect who has the responsibility to translate the teachers requirements into physical shape, to a piece of architecture.


When we talk about school buildings for the future we can't ignore the problem of flexibility. Very much has been said about the technical part of flexibility and also been effected. Moveable partitions or partitions easy to replace, and easy to change electric - and ventilation - outlets. Of course we need technical flexibility, but as far as we think that technical flexibility is the only way of flexibility to meet change we can't handle the problem of a school building for a dynamic educational situation. We will fail And if we try again as we did during the 1960s , to perfect the technical flexibility, the result will be; lifeless, monotonous and expensive buildings! We will also again discover that one neveror very rarely changes the walls etc, in the way technical flexibility allows.

To have a fixation on technical flexibility means that we do not wholly understand the core of the pulsating life of a dynamic education. All my experience shows that it's another type of flexibility we need. You may call it universality and is closely related to the lay-out and the interior environment. Even if it's difficult to explain in a few lines, I will try.

Modern education is at its best as I just said a pulsating activity. Which means education in big groups, middle groups and a row of different group sizes down to individual study. It means a rich variation of room size. We still have too many classrooms! Now I change the heading to openness, but the flexibility will still be with us because, flexibility is inseparable from other factors.


Openness is another key word for me in the design of Elementary Schools. I do not mean large open study halls without walls, even if I believe that small open- study halls can be very useful in combination with other rooms, I am more inclined to look at openness as a sense of freedom in the indoor environment with physical and psychical interplay.

A graded scale of physical openness of the rooms from the big halls down to the smallest room can be as follows; totally closed (no glass except windows) closed with glass door, closed with upper part of the walls glassed (on, one, two or three walls), glass walls ( on, one, two or three walls) room with part of a wall or a wall open to other rooms or communication area. As you see the combinations of different rooms in size and openness are almost unlimited,

A great variety of spaces gives the modern education the freedom it needs for team-work, planning together, allocation of teaching, production of teaching aids, variable length of lessons etc, I hope you agree, we can't any more accept that a teacher goes into a classroom with his/her class and shuts the door. It's not education, it's something else.


It ought to be obvious that an Elementary School should be; rich in shape, warm in colors and small in scale. We must consider that for many children the school building is the first human Environment they have ever met. It should be both well-arranged and with clearly defined parts. An Elementary School just as any other school should have a center, an ARENA, preferably in the geographical middle of the school. A small open hall, big enough to have room for; spare time, gathering, discussions, drama and other performances, exhibitions etc. (the old English multipurpose hall). It's also an advantage if the library and cafeteria (an Elementary School should have some sort of cafeteria or canteen) are close to the ARENA.


During their stay in the school, children and teachers are surrounded by furniture, equipment, color, surface materials etc., which together constitute the interior design or interior architecture of the school. It means that the children come so close to all these objects and surfaces, that it will constitute more or less a bodily contact. It also implies that the interior design as a whole and its objects is one of the most important matters in the school building design; including the aesthetic impression, function, movability, lifetime cycle, cost etc. All together it should be a stimulating milieu for education.

It's easy to understand that the architect has to procure him-/herself deep knowledge in this matter and to have a lot of discussions with teachers and school administrators.

Last but not least it's good if the architect is so well informed that he/she can estimate when its time to introduce for instance a new teaching tool.


A new group of tools called "Multimedia" when we use them together are not only new tools. Multimedia also constitute a new way of education and learning. Working with multimedia means working with electronic equipment and telecommunication such as; computer (PC), video, CD-disc, printer, telephone, fax in combination of two or more of them.

In the ordinary way of education and learning we only use one or two of our five senses at one time. With multimedia we can make use of more of our human senses.

You can work integrated with PC, video, CD-disc and printer, In your PC you have a "desktop publishing" programme, access to a"hyper-card" programme (a system to store knowledge) and all databases the school is connected. to (can be a library of a different kind) make your own video or record other video tapes, On the CD-disc you have music or lectures at your disposal.

The children can create the most fascinating "voyage of discovery" in the world of knowledge, and present what they find out, often as a report made up of; text, diagram , picture (still and/or movie) and music.

It's easy to realize that children can get a better understanding and more realistic view of complicated conditions. It also means that using multimedia in a proper way can raise the quality of the education. Even the way of teaching and learning will be influenced. It will open up the strict subject - orientated education in favor of a more subject - overlapping sort.

It can also result in a new type of distance education, not so much for the Elementary School. But for children with lingering illness, multimedia can be a possibility to work at home and constantly be in contact with the school via; telephone (modem), fax etc. The school can lend the necessary equipment to the sick children.

We have hardly started thinking of it or how multimedia education will influence the interior environment in the future. I am afraid I can go on for hours to analyse all factors of importance involved in school building design. In order to save you from that. I will try to sum up what in my mind are the most important pactors for designing a real good "Elementary School towards the year 2000".


  • The building we form, forms us.

  • The importance of being systematic in the design process, because of the relation between the process and the result it gives the architects.

  • A good lay-out is the base for a good Elementary School but not enough. We should never allow ourselves to design a school building as routine work.

  • A good school architect must have deep knowledge and understanding of the education.

  • A great variety of spaces gives modern education the freedom it needs. This is a more sustainable flexibility than the technical flexibility.

- An Elementary School should be rich in shape, warm in colors and small in scale.

  • A school should have a center, an ARENA for informal activities and gathering.

A carefully designed interior environment is the core of a good Elementary school with all its furniture, equipment, details, color and aesthetic impression.

- The new electronic tools "Multimedia" can add a new dimension to education and learning even in Elementary Schools towards the year 2000.


From Elementary School and up we should try to change the School from being a School to something else. The School should not any more be a place where children are taught because, one cannot teach other people anything, if he or she is not motivated. It is the people who are teaching themselves. The only thing one can do as a teacher is to arouse enthusiasm and curiosity of the children for knowledge, for the endless adventure of new knowledge. Even if you find my argumentation simplified, I am sure there is a core of truth in it. Let us strive for a place for our children full of life, expectation and challenge, A place of a beautiful environment and dedicated inspiring adults (let us try to find a better name than teachers), a place for, play, knowledge and growth. I will finish as I started, with a sentence. My old professor in architecture said to us. "Work, play and don't ever sleep!


THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TOWARD THE YEAR 2000 Arch Jerry Lawrence, FAIA - Washington, U.S.A.

A$ we work together in the development of educational specifications and design architectural concepts for elementary schools of the 21st Century, we need to keep in mind specific issues that will affect the learning of young people yet also serve our community needs. We are in a period of American History where the emphasis is on "Change in American Education; Educational Reform of the 90's".

The design of an elementary school for the 21st Century must:

  • Address an educational environment in which all children can learn.

  • Recognize young people learn in different ways and at different rates (passive and active learning).

  • Acknowledge learning takes place in all types of spaces, both inside and outside the school environment.

  • Provide a facility in which special education, as well as highly capable students, can use and improve their higher level thinking skills. We must make all our facilities totally accessible to handicapped and special children.

  • Be a facility in which every student has an equal opportunity for learning experiences and a physical environment that helps stretch the individual's learning capacity to develop his or her abilities. This means the students' environment provides access to appropriate

materials, technology (now and in the future), excellent instruction and is architecturally conducive to their learning needs.


An elementary school for the 21st Century must provide an environment in which active learning will be student-centered. Teachers will use a variety of techniques to engage students and to provide an environment that encourages students to risk, stretch, and enlarge their capacity to learn in varied styles and situations. Classrooms, schedules, and use of time, require facilities be organized to encourage a multiplicity of activities, Students will be increasingly engaged with the community.

Educational models will become more participative, active oriented, and project oriented rather than passive learning in a traditional classroom. We visualize a facility with a variety of learning models and a variety of space to fit the needs of the students.

In the primary school for the 21st Century, learning will emphasize process, As information is developed and disseminated more rapidly through technology, and as the global context changes, traditional concepts about the way knowledge is dispersed will change. Knowledge of facts, concepts, and principals will be vehicles for learning how to learn and how to search for meaning. The emphasis will be on the tools needed to find information and determine what knowledge is meaningful. The student of the future may not receive grades as a form of evaluation but rather a portfolio of achievements as they progress through the educational system. The classroom will have computers with inter-classroom networks connected throughout the facility with a regional, national and worldwide knowledge base, Each child will have a lap-top computer to take home rather than books.


Integrated learning will be essential to develop links, or meanings, as the body of knowledge increases and its fragmentation accelerates. Integration may be accomplished in a number of ways:

  • Integration and cross-discipline learning within subject areas such as math, reading, writing, spelling and most importantly, the development of social skills, art, music, and integration of special children, etc.

  • Specific thinking skills.

  • Integration with community programs - extensive use of our facilities by the community.


  • Flexible use of time, schedules, and space.

  • Flexible/adaptable space - flexibility in program delivery implies flexible

physical space.

Technology as a transparent tool, not a key design feature - not an over emphasis on technology.

Teacher as a manager or coach rather than an information giver - teacher as a mentor.

  • Block/group/ team teaching concepts.

  • Teacher options and choices to create programs to meet government requirements.

Time and special spaces for children to interact and develop social skills.

  • Peer tutoring.

  • School district technology specialist as a member of design team.

  • The environment will feature windows - windows to the outer environment, windows to the community. and windows to the world.

  • Use of natural light and the natural environment.

  • Cooperation with the community in the construction. maintenance, and use of play fields for recreational facilities.

  • The facility will welcome and accommodate interaction with community members, parents, businesses, artists, senior citizens, social and governing entities.

  • Space will accommodate reflection as well as interaction.

  • The environment, both interior and exterior, will be utilized as a means for teaching and learning.

  • Design with "safty in mind" - safety of the children and staff.

  • It will be necessary to re-examine the role of the classroom environment in the learning process.



Arch. H.N. Peronne, France.

What will a School be in the Year 2000 and what do we want it to be?

The school will be a meeting place taking root in the heart of human gatherings, a part of the neighbourhood.

It will have to establish relations with the outside world, to fit harmoniously into the life of the neighbourhood, to interest the adults who are not teachers in its life, to utilize the competencies of these adults, to have them participate in its activities, to avoid, above all for the sake of the children, the complete cut off between their adult role models: parents-teachers.

The location of the School will be, therefore, of extreme importance in order to provide for communication with nearby facilities.

It is also desirable that this location should allow the children the freedom of circulation, that is to say, the liberty to go to and return from their school, thanks to the existence of pedestrian routes.

The exterior of the School must not be neglected. The school should fit in harmoniously with its surroundings by the interplay of volumes and colors, that its access permits a transition and not a severance, that its entrance hall reflects the life of the school and opens into it, that it has waiting and meeting areas, that the treatment of its exterior spaces assures the transition between the hectic city and the calm School, that the surface space reserved for the School (building) should be calculated on a right scale.

The School will have to be an element of the Global Education System

The school must unite a nursery school, primary school and a secondary school.

It will have to allow the uninterrupted transition from nursery to primary school instruction and from primary to secondary school instruction.

The School will have to be a place for developing the total personality

Because the society tends progressively to assure the reception of all children, starting from the age of two to three years old, for a full day, the School will, in addition to teaching, be a place for play, rest and nourishment, simply speaking, the life of the child in its entirety.

The School will, therefore, have to include the premises and lay out for working and teaching, but also for

  • playing

- letting off physical energy

- resting

- washing

- having contact with the natural surroundings

- having opportunities for arts crafts

  • dancing, reading

- attending a show

- meeting comrades

- receiving, if so needed, medical attention

The school that accommodates all of these activities will no longer be solely a school. It will relate to the other parts and occupy no more than one-fourth or one-third of the total surface area.

The School is a place to acquire knowledge

A child will no longer remain a solitary individual facing a teacher but will, within the context of the class or group, seek to make his/her own contribution of thoughts and knowledge.

This development of autonomy requires that the School's spatial relations be modified. Within the context of a class conforming to rigid teaching methods, a child will not be able to find the necessary resources. A child should have mobility within and outside of the class.

Studying the possibilities of movement through the School will, therefore, be very important in the conception of a school.

An active attitude towards knowledge requires access to varied forms of information printed and audiovisual for the pupils.

'The School will gravitate around a documentary center, accessible to all. The importance of the documentary center requires that its conception should be the object of careful consideration:

- its lay out will have to be conceived in such a way that several groups of children or isolated pupils can work simultaneously without disturbing one another, thanks to a good soundproofing system and the existence of work areas defined by shelves, mobile partitions, etc.

- the many possibilities for the use of audio-visual equipment, computers, etc... must be taken into account.

As much as verbal facilitation, the capacities enabling memorization, other talents, other ways of learning and expressing oneself will have to be put in practice. For example, the School will seek to develop manual skills and creativity.

This will require that sufficiently varied equipment and wideranging possibilities of choice shall be offered.

The creation of studios-clubs will fulfill these needs. The School will have to be a social place

Instead of a closed and entirely autonomous classroom flexible teaching spaces have to be provided for:

  • The permanent or occasional gathering of several classes

  • the creation of space with suitable subdivision for small groups. Teaching spaces should be planned in different ways:

Three to four classrooms around a common space for small groups.

Two classrooms with a common space in between to be used as an extension for one or both classes.

  • Several classes will be connected to form a vast space without any intermediary wall. The use of mobile partitions (or of sliding panels, folding doors, etc...) permits different ways of dividing the space according to the needs, the evolution of the school and/or a different teaching system.

It follows that the basic quality of the school space will be its ability to adapt and to be flexible. But all of the above requirements have the potential to create contradictions in the interpretation of the school's space. These requirements will also have to avoid the formation of gigantic spaces where the child is completely anonymous and lost.

Lastly, Architecture should not drive the lifestyle of the school in one direction, it must not enforce the adoption of new behaviour but will have to promote this by the various possibilities offered.

References and Sources:

- Doctor VERMEIL, "La fatigue a l'ecole"

- Le bulletin N 8, "Pedagogie




Arch: Jacobo Schneider - Argentina


If we start to analyse the present problems in human behavior, we will easily realize that there was something wrong with the educational system that the last few generations have experienced. The results can be clearly seen. Education through severe norms carried out in practice by our society, has given birth to a quantity of individuals who are today rebellious and frustrated in different aspects of their life.

We had to come a long way to become aware that the educational system used so far is no longer useful. A great number of our schools were a product of fear and punishment, whereas man, since his childhood has tended to freedom, curiosity and self expression.

In traditional schools, as well as in the whole educational organization they stand for, the system was compulsive; also the school year, the attendance, discipline, promotion, examinations and the rest. All throughout compulsive rules hung low over the pupils' heads and generally prevented them from attempting to escape this frightful organization. Let us admit frankly, that some aspects of the moral crisis we are undergoing at present in the whole world, is mainly a byproduct of a major educational crisis. Day after day, the young put pressure on our society, demanding a change in its ways and systems, which just means a come back both to man's freedom, and to the possibility of developing his ideas in a free, open way. The reaction is then, a result of the compulsion endured for long years within the frame of what we can call, without being wrong, "the submitting school".

If we analyse this kind of schools just from a physical point of view, studying the expression of shapes and spaces, and analysing the resulting volumes where this form of education takes place, we may conclude that another name can also describe them: "school of monotony". Monotony and repetition of shapes as a result of an easy juxtaposition of classrooms, which are repeated all over the length of the building, thus creating typical school blocks of dubious appearance which no doubt reflect the kind of teaching they cater for.

Repetition pervades not only the outer shape, but also inside, where pupils are bound to see always the same angles, the same perspectives, with no variation, with no possibility of coming across something different.

Color and textures are always the same, lacking in aesthetic and visual possibilities, as regards: floors, ceilings and walls, and no aesthetic advantage is taken from the use of different textures in different materials.

If we truly respect individual man as such, and if we want to develop his natural abilities, we must necessarily think of changing that old educational system. with its monotonous spaces which, in our opinion, has already had its day.


Years ago, Herbert Read told us: "The aim of education is to develop at the same time singularity and the conscience of social reciprocity of individuals". He expressed in that sentence our actual thoughts in educational matter, which looking for cultivating the individuals' qualities, try to integrate children into the social and educational environment that they belong to.

The new school is to be, therefore, a place where individual man may amply express his freedom in every task, and freedom is to be encouraged both as regards the methodological aspects which give shape to the whole educational system, and the physical aspect, which with all its technical and didactic possibilities, will enable us to develop this new type of school we are devising.

Undoubtably all these new concepts in education will have an extraordinary influence on school buildings giving rise to "the school of our present and future". But let's have a closer look at the grounds for these new schools, and what we architects can do to make them feasible, We say that our schools ought to be the product of a new type of education and that the already mentioned factors will be the only ones to influence today's school buildings. We want to oppose the old educational methods, of a thoroughly encyclopedic nature, in which students played the role of mere receivers of knowledge, by means of a new kind of school mainly based on teaching through curiosity. That is, instead of instilling into the pupils the obligation to learn, we try to teach them to be eager to know. We will translate in that way, the learning activity from the teacher to the pupils, changing the old passive school into an active one. The teacher will now leave the center of the educational work, transferring his leading work to the pupils, and transforming his teaching activity into guidance and conduction.

Initiative and curiosity are to be then, the two fundamental premises to lead the children along the path to knowledge at every moment, trying to encourage their personal activity, and emphasizing whatever may constitute a contribution of a thoroughly individual value. So that it may be fully developed, it is necessary that both, the teacher and the learner, should be granted the most suitable means to such end, whether it be the instrumental equipment the teacher uses to transmit the sense of knowledge, or the physical environment that will make the already described process possible.

Hence our new school arises as a natural result of these ideas. Its shape, closely related to the educational concepts used in it, reflects all the peculiarities of this special conception. A school with ample flexible spaces and multiple uses areas; facilities for community participation and a sensible reflection of the concept of belonging, are its fundamental aspects, which at the same time develop the pupils' personality, and get them in permanent touch with their natural and physical environment.


As we said before, school spaces cannot be the sole product of a technological process that provides a shelter for education to be carried out there. Such spaces will rise also as a clear expression of a given educational attitude which, defined to its full scope and right meaning, will become the main factor to influence and shape it. In the middle of our century, Bruno Zevi said: "Space is the protagonist of architecture, and as such, assigns the value of the architectural fact". This idea expresses the main concept and proper role of space in architecture and consequently in the design of our new school building. Open or semi-open spaces were always linked to the concepts of freedom and flexibility in the educational system. It means to work in ample and suitable spaces, where there are no physical limitations to the school activity that teachers want to organize there. It signifies also the introduction of the spacial factor in the school design, that will give the new dimension we want to express in the school of today and tomorrow.

But, the first "euphoria" in the uses of these ideas, which came out in the sixties, without a clear understanding from teachers and parents, of its principles, unfortunately led to a certain sense of failure. On the other hand, these old-new concepts gave educators and architects, the possibility to realize the educational criterion we explained before, and open space schools were then the expression of the most advanced educational concepts in that time. Nevertheless, this kind of space design was not entirely abandoned , and nowadays it has returned to the mind of teachers and architects. Today, progressive communities and active educators are demanding better and more ample spaces, because the traditional cubicular classrooms which were designed in the past, gave them only very limited possibilities of reaching the concepts of an active, workable

and flexible school that they want now.

That's why in our new school, shapes are already free from repetition. Each section shapes itself according to its needs, and can be varied to meet all possible demands, either technical or educational. There are no identical sections: each group organizes its own section and is able to move adequately within the full range of possibilities that our new space offers.

Colors, textures, and lighting are the expression of each educational requirement, supporting school activities at all time. Both, space and equipment, use the full chromatic values of new and traditional materials, with the purpose of giving the feeling of joy and comfort schools cannot do without.

Acoustics and lighting are carefully studied, so that they can assist in our activity, basically as regards the problems that have cropped up on account of the possibility to remove partitions, as well as those that have risen as a result of the continuous flow of pupils, Old forms which used to stay in one classroom, now start to move about, forcing architects to follow them closely to any possible location, in order to reach the suitable technical solution each case will require.

No doubt, the equipment needed for such schools also has to be specially designed. On account of the characteristic type of activity carried out within these spaces, the support from flexible suitable equipment is needed, adapted to the dynamic activity that is permanently under way. Of course, unnatural rows of desks with a blackboard in front which, hard as we find it to believe, still exist in our schools, vanish and give way to spaces suited to the subject to be dealt with, and to the technique to be used, particularity in the case of audiovisual and computers techniques which call for special arrangements of the pupils in front of devices and/or systems. In some cases, especially in multiple purpose areas, we even do away with chairs, and children sit directly on the floor, generally carpeted, which may be flat or have steps for sitting.

Through this description we have aimed at expressing our thoughts about today's and tomorrow's schools, conceived to serve an idea about education that differs widely from the traditional one. So that all this may come true in practice, we need to do away with old-fashioned concepts that survive in traditional schools, starting with anachronistic curricula, called by us awe-inspiring curricula, and going on to the odd idea of cutting the educational space, which has been of current use throughout the years and which still affects many schools nowadays.

But if we want schools to work within the new trends, we basically need the support from a proficient teaching team, who fully understand these ideas and who will be ready to struggle amid a difficult, hostile society. What our team must bear in mind is the support and understanding of the community within which they will work. They must never forget the main role such an activity plays within the community. It is necessary that the school nucleus rises from it and integrates with it, thus allowing the progress of the new type of school it really needs. Permanent contact with human groups is of vital importance to achieve an effective result, as that uninterrupted bond will be the only means to integrate school and life at the place. We mean then, that our team: planners, teachers, architects, interior and equipment designers, sociologists, etc,. cannot ignore the value of local influence, and that any idea conceived in its name, that does not take this into account, will risk failure through lack of support. The point is not then, to build schools as an imposition; on the contrary, the aim is to get local influence inside them, made evident through its environment, its natural resources and its human possibilities, which in turn will make each school live within its social organization.



Arch. Robin Bishop - Great Britain „ Introduction

I work for the British Department for Education, in its Architects & Building (A&B) Branch. We are about 30 architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, supporting government educational policy and promoting good practice and value for money in relation to school building, We do

this in 3 main ways:

1. By investigating the effects of changing educational policy and

needs on school accommodation;

2 . By building development projects to test new ideas, and to keep us in touch with current building practice;

3 . By publishing guidance for designers and users of schools.

I am an architect in our primary team, which is responsible for school ages 3 to 11 (roughly equivalent to the "elementary" stage in other countries). I would like to tell you today about 3 aspects of our work: 3 recent A&B projects in the UK and abroad; educational developments in the UK over the last 5 years; and our latest primary project, a new infant school for 4-7 year-


A . 3 Recent A&B Projects


This is a school for 210 pupils from 5 to 11, designed in collaboration with a private practice, the Ellis Williams Partnership. It shows what could be achieved within typical cost and area limits 5 years ago, before

the changes I will shortly be describing.


This was a gift from the British people to Armenia, after the earthquake 5 years ago. The school was for 400 pupils, from 6 to 16. It was designed by A&B and built mainly by British contractors, with British materials, and was completed within 20 months of the disaster. At Soviet request it was designed to UK educational and construction standards, which were thought preferable to those in Armenia.


We have carried out a feasibility study for a new school for 1,000 pupils from 3 to 17, sponsored by the British Council and the European Community. It is to be designed and equipped to the highest international standards.

Each of these schools responds to a specific brief - and to very different

sites and climates - with a distinctive architectural solution. But they also reveal common themes, in particular the provision of a range of flexible teaching spaces, with class bases opening into shared areas.

B. Recent Educational Develpments in the U.K.

Education in the UK has been undergoing a major reassessment over the last 5 years, and has become a controversial political issue. Much attention is currently on the alleged failure of the primary teaching methods of the last few decades, amongst other issues. I would like to summaries the main ones:


There have been calls - by ministers and other - for a move "back to basics" taught by "traditional" methods, including a return to teaching the whole class together in its own room. Coupled with this, there is suspicion of "open" or "semi-open" planning, which is often associated (though without clear evidence) with the "progressive" methods of the last 20 or 30 years.


The government has delegated much financial control directly to schools, and is encouraging them to opt out of local authority control altogether. Some implications for school design are already clear, such as a significant increase in bulk buying of materials (and consequent storage needs), and concern for energy saving (to reduce running costs). Atria, for example, can be an asset or a liability - depending on their design.


legislation is combining with greater public awareness of risks to health and a concern to teach the pnnciples of safety from the earliest ages. Many of our primaries need more and safer electricity (with at least 5 double socket outlets per class); cold and hot water for each class; properly designed spaces for food preparation, cookery and ceramics; closer supervision - by additional staff or adult helpers, and by designing for better vision between spaces; and more space generally,to avoid the hazards of overcrowding.


Theft and vandalism out of school hours are becoming significant problems in many areas, urban and rural.


For many years government regulations have set a minimum teaching area of 1.8 square meters per pupil (plus hal, library and ancillary space). In practice, local education authorities have been building about 10% more than that. There has been growing pressure to raise the minimum standard, supported by A&B's own observations. Following an official review, we are at this moment awaiting the Minister's decision: whether to increase the minimum area standards, or to abolish them completely.


The minimum areas for outdoor play and sports have also been reviewed. There has been growing recognition of the value of school grounds for extending education outside the classroom, especially when there is active participation by pupils and parents. This development is described more fully in the presentation by BILL AINSWORTH.


For the first time in the UK, a national curriculum was introduced in 1989 by Margaret Thatcher's government. Briefly, it specifies 9 • subjects to be taught in state primary schools; 10 levels of attainment against which pupils' progress can be measured; and testing in all subjects at the ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16. Each school's results are to be published, to encourage competition between schools, and to inform parents' choice for their children.

The NC arose chiefly because of concern about declining standards in our schools. On the whole it has received the support of both teachers and parents - perhaps because conservatives hope it will guarantee greater equality between pupils and between schools.

Though it is too early to predict all the effects of the NC, some consequences for school design are already apparent:

  • Science is now compulsory for all pupils, so even the youngest must have appropriate services and equipment.

  • Technology (designing & making) is new to many primaries, making demands for space, materials and tools.

  • Computers are essential: at least 1 per infant and 2 per junior class, with others in shared areas. Computers can be net worked, but the fixed outlets are restrictive. Mobile trolleys are more versatile, for example for control technology. However we have not yet found a trolley of suitable design for small children. Nor is there wide understanding yet of the correct environment and positioning required for computers.

  • Variety of space and group size will still be needed, despite the move to more whole-class teaching. Room will be needed in the class base for everyone to gather on the floor. Tables will need to be bigger, for groups to work on their own when appropriate. Above all more class space is needed, not only for all the activities I have just mentioned, but also for large-scale art; for electronic floor turtles and roamers for massy activities; for kitchens; for music and drama studios; for small group withdrawal; and for big constructions.

  • Storage is needed for the increasing quantities of resources. It must be of many types, and as much of it as possible should be freely accessible to the children. Finally, we are now finding a much greater need for storage of records of pupils' performance.

C . Park Lane School Sandwell

Last year A&B was approached by Sandwell education authority to design a replacement infant school (for ages 4 to 7), on a site next to a junior school (for ages 8 to 11). We welcomed this opportunity to design for the changes I have just outlined.

Sandwell is in the middle of England, a region named the "Black Country" after the coal mining and heave engineering which used to dominate it. Their disappearance has left a mixed population of old communities which have lost their economic roots, and newer immigrants, both with significant unemployment.

Our site is in a quiet residential area near the declining center of Tipton Green. It is mostly flat, but complicated by former buildings, underground workings and pollution. In these respects it is typical of many of our urban sites nowadays.

To assist discussion with our clients, we jointly visited several interesting recent primary schools in England. Some of those in Hampshire are described by BILL AINSWORTH.

We were closely involved in drawing up the brief. The main requirements of the new infant school ,were for 9 classes of 30 pupils each; a 45-place nursery for 90 4-year-olds (attending morning or afternoon); a hall/dining room; and other ancillary accommodation ­about 2,000 square meters in all. Improvements were also required to the junior school to give it a large space for music, drama and dining, and in due course to enlarge it to 360 pupils.

Two other key decisions were made; to build a new kitchen serving both schools, and to

make provision for community use from development funds targeted at decaying urban areas.

After much experiment, a linear design seemed to work best. It gives the infants an entrance

from the road at one end, and at the other a cluster of shared facilities linked to the juniors. Between them, classrooms curve round to the north, benefitting from morning sun, views into, and access to , the heart of the site.

Close to the road is a multi-agency center, which will supply advice and social services to parents, and encourage them to participate in the life of the school. Next to it is the nursery, linked to the reception classes for the youngest infants. All the classes open into an internal "street", which provides space for shared libraries, cookery, science and technology. At the far end, the hall, studios and kitchen can be used by each school - and by the community ­in a variety of combinations.

The sections show a simple envelope, with main teaching spaces to the south-east and

ancillary rooms. to the south-west of a taller top-lit "street". The roof plan clarifies this organization. with its "spine" and "ribs" of roof lighting over teaching spaces.

Our engineers, Buro Happold, helped us evolve a distinctive structural and environmental solution. Good lighting was essential in the deep teaching spaces, and comptfter analyses

were made of daylight penetration. The section also permits good natural cross-ventilation. Underfloor heating was chosen for

comfortable use of the floor by small children, and for flexible furnishing.

The structure is of steel, normally in the form of tree-like columns and struts. This is for future flexibility, as well as visual interest, and to give a more delicate scale to the teaching

space. Externally some brick is used, relating the building to the junior school. Otherwise the facades are mainly glass, with colored panels and doors identifying each class, The

color spectrum seems appropriate to the rainbow plan, and should help children to orientate themselves in a long building.

Class bases are 72 sq.m. - larger than usual in the UK. Pupils will normally enter from outside via the covered area, or via the we "pods" in cold weather, directly into a practical

area with coat storage, sink, bench and waterproof flooring. Sliding doors between pairs of classes allow sharing of practical areas. The rest of the space is carpeted and permits various furniture layouts, both formal and informal. Teaching storage is along one wall, in the form of a range of shelves, racks and cupboards. All the low-level storage is accessible to the pupils.

In the shared "street" are more specialized bays for small groups to learn about science, technology and food. We are designing improved infant furniture for these activities, and hope to find a manufacturer to put them into production.

The landscape plan was designed by Higson Pearson to maximize the educational, recreational and social use of the whole site, and to clarify its organization. Each school has its own pedestrian and vehicle entrances, and a new footpath leads the public directly to the shared facilities between the two. Each school has a separate area for hard play, the juniors also making use of the artificial pitch to the west. A grass playing field lies to the east. The rest of the site is a mixture of soft landscaping and wild habitats, linked together by ha

continuous nature trail.

When the school opens next year we believe that it will provide useful material for a constructive discussion between educators and architects, of the implications for school design of some challenging developments in primary education. I also hope that, as well as meeting the immediate needs of Sandwel's teachers and children, it will be robust and flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen demands - perhaps even a return to some of the

practices now under attack, at least in the UK.


Arch W.R. Ainsworth - Great Britain

Any progressive solutions will only arrive out of a total understanding of educational curriculum requirement and need in each country. Full consultation with teachers, parents, community advisers in the broadest sense is necessary before and brief is ready for the architect. Established guidelines and space requirement from relevant educational departments should be available to add to local and innovative briefing.

In deprived and underprivileged areas in particular, th spiritual and physical family environment may be unsatisfactory and the connection of school to family life becomes more important.
Three recent schools in Hampshire, England are shown and an initiative in environmental education in schools in the United Kingdom, where we are filling some of the essential gaps, presented.

  • Cowplain - Queen's Enclosure

Simple and understandable plan with a central open learning space. Class bases open into to central space, each having smaller resource space for play or learning. These have become known as the 'womb within the room.' Central space is full of natural overhead light. Delicate and flexible structure with lightweight partitions and shallow barrelled roofs.

  • Borden - Whitehall

  • Very different design. Natural materials of wood and tile in a sequence of pavilions in a lovely landscape.

  • Westgate – Winchester
    small extension to a 1910 existing school. The building addresses and original Neo-Georgian brick school to form the first part of a large court. The new school mixes a light and interesting steel structure with lightweight flexible panels with brick and concrete block. Natural Light brought into the central circulation and resource area.

Ashfield Nursery School

Typical and modest example of a recent program to improve the school garden of a nursery school.

Parents and staff were dissatisfied with the condition of the large garden of Ashfield Nursery School, a listed building of 1 830,
run by the local authority since 1932. The school serves 132 children, plus a Parents Center with creche and toddler group, and the garden is in use every day, 48 weeks a year. They invited Newcastle Architecture workshop to discuss the possibilities for impruvement in January, 1 988 which led to broadening of ideas about play and use of the garden for learning.

Ashfield has a long history
of support for families and young children, in a part of Newcastle with the highest rate of unemployment among young adults. The ward has exceptionally high rates of chronic illness and low brithweight babies. 45% of pupils are from ethnic minority families whose first language s not English and a number have disabilities. The area also suffers a very high rate of crime and vandalism, and is a threatening, insecure and run down environment for young children. Many parents are young, caring for children on low incomes, often without the support of their families. Few can afford holidays, trips or expensive toys. Ashfield Parents Garden Support Group tries to be their friendship network, and to creats a haven - a high quality environment and opportunities for them and their children.

Over the past four years, parents have worked with Architecture Workshop, using their ingenuity and tapping many people's resources to provide varied opportunities for play as a vital part of education for the youngest children. At the same time, they have helped parents take greater control and responsibility for improving their environment, and their own talents and interests, and to develop the skills and confidence necessary, They have involved many other members of the community in co-operative action, including teenagers, young parents and local businesses, in order to counteract the depression, apathy and lack of opportunities prevalent in the area.

The future global environment rests with today's young children and the exercise of alerting them to responsibilities remains important work.

Newcastle Architecture Workshop

Newcastle Architecture workshop was set up in 1977 with the support of the R.I.B.A It combines both an Urban Studies Center and a Community Technical Aid Center.

Its aims are to help people, young and old, to become aware of their environment, to understand and critically appraise what they see around them, to see possibilities for change and to enable them to initiate and carry out change themselves.

As well as being an urban studies / environmental education center, the workshop is also a community technical aid unit, undertaking a range of practical community projects aimed at binging vacant sites back into public use and at improving run-down public estates and neighborhoods. it's clients have traditionally been public sector (not just Newcastle).

The center has recently diversified into project work with the local Urban development corporation and with the new City Challenge Board,. The workshop has gained a national and international reputation for its training and support programmes on community participation and environmental education and has received a number of major awards for it's work. It was recognized by DES HMI as one of the foremost censers in the country for urban studies. The workshop has recently completed a partly government (Doe) funded review into the effectiveness of Architecture Workshops and similar organizations as centers for Environmental Education. This has resulted in a number of publications on the organization and operation of Environmental Resource Centers. The result of this review is that the Doe has also funded the Workshop to provide advice and support to centers throughout the country.


The Elementary School towards the year 2000

Arch. Jorge Farelo Pinto, - Portugal.

What's building an elementary school in the end of this century ?

Two contrasting examples are one in Portugal (Europe) and the other in Mocambique (Africa).

Regarding Elementary Schools in Portugal we are developing our thoughts about qualitative terms as the quantitative needs are almost satisfied.

As we are having a reform of the Educational System, this means an application of a philosophy that involves an integrated form of several aspects as pedagogy, buildings and equipment.

We decided by the Basic Law that we should create Resource Centres not only to help the existing activities in the Schools but also to rationalize the available resources in use.

The Center's main purpose is to promote quality teaching with improved activities of the teachers so

that we can employ the existing technological resources to be useful for the many people that need them, like teachers, students and the whole community.

With these main targets, we can identify 5 actions:

Cultivate habits of persistence in school work.

Stimulate the creative and constructive spirit, essential for acquisition of knowledge

Revitalize the teachers' role in classes.

Dynamize the community/school relationship

Help other schools with an exchange program.

A different example of all this is in Mocambique. The quantitive aspects are very important because this is a country with a very high level of illiteracy (80%) and so our big effort is to build schools with very low costs so we can build as many as possible.

We developed a project method with identical constructive and dimensional principles, but when we locate a building, we make some changes to avoid uniformity.

In addition to all these worries which are very simple "things" like general configuration, colour and grid, it was more difficult to create a multi-purpose area to serve as a basic refectory/canteen and gymnasium.

These are schools without any "technology" because the needs are so great that any equipment would be immediately "devoured".

These schools which reflect care for the community and have been the subject of Education Ministry attention are solutions that have proved themselves during the 3 years of functioning with an overcrowded school population.



Arch. Jaacov Hertz, Israel

Schools are for learning . This seems an obvious statement . Yet in reality the mutual relationship between the building and the events that transpire within it rarely exists

The process of education is complicated and variegated. Many changes are taking place and will take place in the future in the concepts of teaching . Electronic teaching aids and other technological developments will influence the way of teaching . The traditional classroom with its blackboard along one wall - which dictates the sitting arrangement and the conduct of the lesson - no longer serves its purpose.

The school building must first of all accommodate a proper functioning of the curriculum and the organisational structure of the school which is no longer as rigid as it used to be. Secondly in order to provide a comfortable physical environment , proper attention must be given to every one of its components . These include proper lighting , acoustics, ventilation, temperature control , furniture design, color selection , etc.

Thirdly, the schoolbuilding and its spaces must have a pleasant atmosphere and comply with aesthetical values ,constructive for the development of the child.

A properly designed building contributes inevitably to a child's aesthetic appreciation - at first indirectly, but eventually at a conscious and explicit level of awareness. An attractive and functionally successful school building evolves in the child an attitude of respect towards his physical environment , curbs his destructive tendencies , deepens his outlook and contributes to the development of his personality.

The school building needs , therefore , careful planning .First of all the planner of the school building has to make sure he understands the educational requirements and knows the special technological and functional demands of the building Any educational organization that intends to erect a school building should clearly specify the goal to be attained by that building , so that the planner can suit it to i its requirements and ensure its functioning for a long period of time . The experienced school planner knows to ask the right questions. These deal with the educational structure of the institution ; the anticipated composition of its student body , the curriculum , the organizational structure of the school and the social and communal activities which will take place in the school building . It is desirable to have representatives of the parents participate in this pre-planning stage . The planner has to emphasize the different options available for physical solutions, meeting different educational requirements . It may occur that the educators in this stage of planning are becoming aware of different functional and technological options and subsequently alter their educational concept.

The life span of a building is about 50 years. Its planners must therefore not only consider the immediate demands upon it, but must anticipate different demands in the future. This may be brought about by changes in instructional methods, educational concepts and technological and demographical developments.

A successful school building is , among other things, a flexible building , capable of changing its functions along with the educational process which it accommodates .

There are different ways to effect flexibility . One is the use of movable partitions: demountable or folding partitions . This solution is expensive. A more practical solution is to design space clusters. These consist of large spaces, 200 to 800 sqm , which can be subdivided in various ways as required . This can be achieved by using built - up partitions which can be pulled down and re-erected whenever needed .

A third possibility is open space, that is space without any partitions, necessitating special acoustic treatment. This system requires special attention as regards the behavior of pupils and teachers. The open space is adaptable to many different educational concepts and serves the various functional requirements well,

In many cases the school building is handed over to the users without any interior decoration , as an empty shell, a naked structure. This of course influences greatly the behavior of the pupils in

their new home. One simply cannot expect a respectful attitude of the pupils for a building that looks unfinished and neglected from the onset.

A completely different situation is created when pupils enter the new building and experience the attention and love which were invested in their new schoolhouse.

Throughout the years, during which a child spends the better part of his waking hours within the walls of his school , he acquires not only a body of information , but a set of values as well, he

develops his way of thinking and his social relationships , accumulates aesthetic experiences and enriches his cultural values.

To conclude: school design is determined by society, yet it can fairly be said that the nature of that society is influenced by the school building it erects .



Arch. Zeev Druckman - Israel.

The concept: "Educational environment” is a household term as if there is an axiomatic understanding concerning the idea beyond the words.

In this short lecture i would like to deal with the question if we - the architects - have something to say and contribute in converting this abstractive concept to a more known and concrete one.

I'll start with two basic assumptions:

  1. In the age of elementary school we have the freedom to develop varieties and diversity of educational situations with different emphasis on any school.

  2. Various environmental situations should stimulate specific and unique educational situations. In my opinion. at this point, if these two assumptions are acceptable, we have to search and demand for the prime contribution of the architect in designing a place for educations.

Today we take the children at age 5-6 and put them in a closed institute. The teachers are the same teachers, the facilities are almost the same, and even the verbal concepts, motions are based on the same books. After a few years we are able to distinguish the common intellectual denomination of these kids, as if they were shaped by the same industrial line.

To epitomize we can say that the interpretation of the educational environment by the educators is almost homogeneous. In contemporary designs they don't have the possibility to shape and design their own unique educational situations.

Here at this point the architects should get the substantial mandate of being responsible in relocating the school spaces in the community. Then we can reveal the significant link between the architectural narration and the self determination of any school. The creative approach in locating school facilities enables the educators to design their own educational` spaces from the place and for the place.

Now, I would like to show some illustrations of designing schools in various urban fabrics.

1st illustration - the existing situation

Educational institute is floating as a neutral object which contains some school facilities. The environment is indifferent to the curriculum.

2nd illustration:

The school in a wall in a piazza, is's possible to grasp the urban space as a major themes for the school. Is the library inside the building a part of the colonnade around the square, Is the artistic workshop along th inner corridor or it's in the lobby of the local museum next door.

3rd illustration:

The educational situations are dispersed inside the courts of different urban junctions. some classes are linked to housing spaces, some to connercial facilities and some, may be, to the diamonds stock exchange.

4th illustration:

Educational situations as an integral part of a landscape design, the garden is the main environmental theme. The classroom here should be totally different from the classroom under the city hall.

5th illustration:

The school remains as an institute floating on it's terrain but opens the gates and absorbs some other relevant functions that influence it's nature.

All these illustration indicate that by locating educational spaces in harmony with urban events, we can achieve the variety and diversity of ideas, notions, concepts and new educational aspirations respectfully the variety of environmental situations.



Arch. Gavriela Nussbaum - Israel

The policy of the Ministry of Housing is to supply the basic community services in newly built neighborhoods. Some of the educational projects are experimental designs. for the implementation of advanced pedagogic programmes.

In 1987, the office met the target of a modern elementary school design in Carmiel. Specifications for committee the program were the responsibility of a special committee in the Ministry of Education. The Institute for Development & Welfare facilities participated in the design process.

In the mid eighties we had to believe in a vision to design such a school in Carmiel, as the area had developed only after the immigration wave of the 1990 s.

The school is located in an ordinary neighborhood. overlooking a valley. In accordance with new pedagogic methods. the design is based on "class groups" = three classes for each age group.

young group = kindergarten. first and second grades.

middle group = third and fourth grades.

high group = fifth and sixth grades.

Special functions such as library, laboratories and private study rooms are located in a central area of each group - "the common". All common areas are connected via patios which are utilized for extra activities. Each kindergarten class has an exit to its' own courtyard. The school is designed on one level. Shelters which are located on the lower level house the workshops. The building has a sloped roof which creates galleries in all classes. The gymnasium is planned near the high group, enclosing a second patio, which can be used for cultural activities.

The interior design emphasized wood and warm colors. to create a domestic atmosphere comfortable for young children. The scale of the building suits the child's world and enables the teachers a variety of activities outside the classes, in the common areas and in the patios.

On completion of the final building stage the total area will be: 2800 sq.m.

In the first building stage, 15 classes (about 1800 sq.m.) were constructed. including the entire young group area (9 classes). The second stage, 6 high group classes, is now under construction.

Building cost: $ 1000 per sq.m. including landscaping.

The designer was architect Jacob lvri from the Ministry of Housing in Nazareth, who unfortunately passed away before the construction was completed.

In 1990 the office had designed two schools based on the "group approach" though with the standard programme. one of them in Kiryat Gat' by archs. Rozenkewitz & Klemes. The school is located near a valley. The design comprises three wings; each houses a group of 6 classrooms around a "common". All common areas are treated with a sloped light roof. The main hall opens to the court which is connected to the valley Total area 2600 sqm

Another example of a unique school is in Rosh Ha'ain, designed by Eyal architects. The program was based on a regular school with adaptations to a unique one. Groups of three classes were gathered around a "common". which serves actually 6 classes designed in two levels and

connected by stairs. All three commons open to the central hall. The gymnasium has a special stage, which enables performances for indoor and outdoor audience as well.

In 1991 the office designed two community schools in new neighbourhoods in Eilat.

Specifications and design of the programme were the responsibility of the Institute for Development of Educational & Welfare Facilities and the Office of the city engineer.

The programme followed the new ideas of a unique community school, and the new pedagogic methods used in Camiiel.

Young group - kindergarten and first grade.

Middle group - second and third grades.

High group - fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

Additional functions: library laboratory and resource center were designed in the heart of the building, to serve the community as well.

The shelters which had to be deeply protected, were adapted for a music center and workshops.

The young group is designed in a separate wing, connected to the main building but with its own entrance from the street.

Again the design emphasized the ideas of a common area for each of the class groups used for activities outside the class rooms.

Total area: 3400 sq.m.

Each of the two Eilat schools was allocated an addition of 300 sq.m. over the national standard programme for community functions. The gymnasiums were designed to serve as assembly halls for cultural community activities.

The same programme was used for both schools, but the sites differ. One was designed by arch . Chayut in a compact mode, two stories high. near apartment blocks, the other designed by arch. Meltzer-Igra is scattered, on one level, near a park. Each design matches its natural and topographic surrounding.

The schools are now under construction. The present building stage calls for 15 classes including the entire young group area (about 2300 sq.m.)

cost: $ 1300 per sq.m. including landscaping.

This experiment of adapting programmes, into the limits of total areas. in order to answer community needs and special pedagogic requirements, is the starting point for a flexible design matching an elastic programme scheme, which is developed for the future schools of Israel, especially those located in new neighborhoods.




Arch. Harry Brand - Israel


Any examination of building technology must, of necessity, establish the size and nature of the demand which needs to be satisfied. The use of industrialized methods pre-supposes a demand of adequate size and continuity to justify the initial costs of tooling up. The demand for schools in Israel is both small and very inconsistent.

The population growth curve and, hence the need for extra classrooms, is characterized by outstanding peaks and troughs linked directly to waves of immigration. In peak years the number of class rooms commissioned reached almost 2000 whereas in slack periods this figure dropped to around 350. The long term average is around 600-800 classrooms p.a.

This demand is not centrally controlled however. It is fragmented by the administrative and financial arrangements by which schools are built. Although financed largely by central government, each local authority designs and commissions its own schools. The only really central co-ordination is the need to meet Ministry of Education design standards. This policy is based on the recognition of differing local characteristics be they climatic, cultural or social in rural or urban settings. The result is a highly varied and fragmented school building programme controlled by a large number of different client bodies.

Notwithstanding this situation, which is not at all conducive to the industrialization of the school building process, the temptation to go industrial was not resisted and many different ideas and systems were tried



The initiative to apply systems came initially from clients such as the Ministry of Housing, which in the early years controlled a substantial part of the school building programme as part of the new towns it built, the Jewish Agency and more recently, as local government became stronger, by the Economic Company of the Local Authorities. These bodies purchased a variety of products which over the years included the following : (See Diag. No. 2)

2.1 Light Weight Panels

Local and imported lightweight panels based on the use of metal, asbestos or fiberglass sheeting with various insulating materials, were used to produce simple single storey structures. Thin, man-sized concrete panels, usually used for agricultural buildings were also employed. These solutions were adopted not from choice but only when the conventional building industry was incapable of delivering at very short notice. The classrooms built with these panels are inferior from the points of view of durability, thermal comfort and acoustics but many such inferior "pre-fabs" stand to this day as testimony to the difficulty of taking timely building decisions.

2.2 C.L.A.S.P. in Israel

A private entrepreneur believed that school building could be a profitable business venture so he bought the rights to use this well proven English system in Israel. His investment, fortunately for him, was not in plant but in the know-how to produce the kit of parts in existing factories. After a lengthy and costly process of adaptation and development a 3

storey school was built at Ashdod. The building, as it turned out, was a success but the system failed as a business venture through lack of further orders and was discontinued.

2.3 A Tailor Made System.

To meet the sudden need to build a relatively large number of comprehensive high schools, the Ministry of Education, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency, set about developing a special system. Careful analysis of the user requirements led to the detailed design of a highly suitable pre-cast concrete system. Influenced by the thinking of S.C.S.D. in California, the system was capable of producing flexible space and controlled environmental quality. The system was applied to a small number of schools and subsequently discontinued because of a drop in demand and administrative difficulties.

2.4 The "Standardized" School

The notion that a school can be bought as a standard product has captured the imagination of the Economic Company of the Local Authorities. A design/build tender based on approved sketch designs and a general performance specification yielded a number of solutions suited to the technical capability of the pre-cast concrete manufacturers, normally geared to the production of residential units. A number of independent local authorities have chosen to build schools by this route on an optional basis but the designs are rigid and not always suited to specific local conditions.

Their main appeal lies in their administrative simplicity avoiding the protracted "headache" of design and tender. This method has a chance to survive as long as the plant has sufficient work in the residential sector to enable the production of the sideline and local authorities choose to buy them.

3 RATIONALIZATION OF DESIGN 3.1 Modular Co-ordination

Given that a small diversified market cannot sustain closed industrialized systems, an alternative route via design rationalization was applied. The most significant of these was the attempt to apply by law the design of buildings by the rules of Modular Co-ordination. The object was to enable the use of as many pre-fabricated components as possible. The system never really succeeded due to ignorance of the rules on the part of architects and licensing authorities who were required to check the plans. The law was repealed in 1990.


Whereas in the past, four bare walls used to be called a classroom, today, and more so in the future, a school needs to satisfy at least 3 basic performance requirements :

  • Flexible internal space which means long span structural elements and non-load bearing internal walls.

  • Environmental control, which includes lighting, shading, heating, cooling and acoustic treatment.

  • Plug-in electro-mechanical systems relating to advanced technology in the laboratories, workshops, computer centers and libraries. Hence the product is becoming more sophisticated to meet the needs of modern school based education.


After all is said and done the one system which has survived the test of time is the conventional cement based, labor intensive method. This has proved to be the most flexible and economical solution and consequently the most consistent. The introduction of "off the shelf' pre­fabricated components such as pre-stressed hollow core slabs, gypsum partitions and linings, facade elements and supplementary components such as windows and doors, suspended ceilings and dry floor finishes, has contributed to the streamlining of traditional building methods. These lend themselves to a free design approach which suits both the nature of the demand as well as the undisciplined style of the architect.

In the light of past experience, it seems therefore, that the building method most appropriate to providing the schools of the future, is the conventional method, incorporating as many prefabricated components as possible.(See Diag. No. 3)



Arch. Hanan Havron - Israel.

The field of education has been of special importance in kibbutz doctrine. Up until the seventies most kibbutzim had "Childrens' houses" in which children from infant age spent the night. School education was strictly within the boundaries of the individual kibbutz, and kibbutzim clung to this concept in spite of all its drawbacks, educational and economical, in the belief that this would ensure the ties of the next generation to their kibbutz. Secondary schools were the first to realize that the drawbacks outweighed the advantages (if they actually existed) and that only a larger school could answer the needs. So regional kibbutz schools were formed and to date only two or three kibbutzim still have secondary schools "at home". The process with elementary schools was even slower but again the problems of size and cost outweighed all other considerations. A joint effort of the Ministry of Education and the kibbutz movements started the process of regionalizing the kibutz elementary schools. It is within this framework that the "Nizaney Eshkol" school has been built.


As the school would be a joint venture of 13 or more kibbutzim of two movements it was of utmost importance to have a democratic decision - making and planning process. With the active participation and support of the regional council, two bodies were set up: an educational committee and an economical committee, composed of members of the partners and reporting back to their kibbutzim. The educational committee visited all the local schools and met with local educational committees to decide on the educational philosophy of the new school. They also visited schools all over the country to learn from their experience. The decision after these deliberations was that the school would adopt active teaching and active learning in an open school as its philosophy.


Our office was called in at a very early stage. We had to reconcile the educational needs, as envisaged by the educational committee, with the brief of the Ministry of Education. This involved certain changes in functions and standards, but we found the Ministry's team very forthcoming as long as we kept within the boundaries of areas and budget.


The philosophy of active learning, non frontal teaching, sub division of the class, even individual learning (at the computer or otherwise), led to an open plan with interconnected classrooms and the full use of circulation areas. The hexagonal plan was adopted as it enables a large variety of connections between spaces, and eliminates the formal difference between corridor and classroom. The basic unit was based on three classrooms with a central hexagon as access and activity center. All common walls were to be acoustical folding partitions, thus creating the maximum flexibility of separation and unification of spaces. As the partitions are very expensive they were finally installed only where needed. In the lower classes the common walls were left as openings and in the higher classes some walls were closed with plaster board partitions. The whole unit was acoustically treated (ceilings and walls) thus creating the quiet atmosphere needed in a large open space. Three years after opening with the joining of more kibbutzim the need arose to have a fourth classroom in each unit. This was achieved by adding two hexagons to the unit and transforming one of the original classrooms into an extension of the activity area.



Arch. Adam Eyal & Dany Eyal - Israel

The school was built in a neighborhood of low-rise houses, on a hilly site, in Rosh Ha'ayin, a suburban town of the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area.

The design for the school was based on the concept of an advanced educational system aimed at individual teaching and studying, - without eliminating traditional classrooms with frontal teaching.

The programme of the Israeli Ministry of Education stated that all teaching and communication areas, except the classrooms, be concentrated into genuine open spaces designated for individual activities.

In the center of the School-building there is a core, an entrance area, from which the classroom-groups develop, each one comprising 6 classes, creating a symmetrical centripetal design, i.e Central Core - - - Multipurpose Open space - = - Clusters of 6 classrooms.

The areas thus achieved by this concentration create a great continuous space, where individual activities are carried out, also locating the library, language lab, wet areas for biology, as well as quiet study corners.

The classroom cluster is designated for certain age groups and comprises 6 classrooms around the central open space: 3 classes at the lower level of the central space and 3 classes above them, spatially defining various zones in the school for the different age-groups. The lower level and the upper level are staggered by half floors coming down or going up from the entrance core, Both levels create two continuous floors, simplifying internal communication.

The classroom building was built in two stages, 12 classes with administration + 6 additional classes, (18 classes in the final stage).

There era also underground air-raid shelters which were conceived as a multipurpose area and serve as music and computer-rooms.

Exterior finish: exposed concrete with plastered surfaces using exposed pebble-aggregate with white cement. The roofs: combination of flat concrete roofs and pitched ones covered with red roof tiles, similar to the surrounding neighborhood.

The multipurpose hall was basically designed for gymnastics but may serve also as an assembly hall.The possibility to open the stage towards the paved entrance courtyard, enables this space to hold double the number of people.

Built areas (including air-raid shelters)

12 classes + administration




6 additional classes




Total built area, 18 classes




Multipurpose hall






'The Little Red Schoolhouse" of *the Future

Arch - Tsvi Lissar - Israel

Our century has witnessed a giant leap forward in technology, leading us to expect the same magnitude of change in the way our school buildings and classrooms look and function, But as individuals living in the midst of a revolutionary era, lacking the necessary perspective to evaluate it correctly, we should not expect to see revolution in all aspects of our lives.

All around us, pupils are still taught within the same classrooms, and sometimes in the same buildings, as our own parents sat in. In many ways, a precentage of this young generation is better equipped to the revolution than their parents, teachers and politicians are.

It is not sufficient to implant the new technologies within the old structures. In many ways we have to follow the lead of the young and open our minds to a new way of thinking. We must look at the total learning experience and not just at the "little red schoolhouse" which traditionally housed education,

For example, the international communication networks of information and knowledge already accessible via telecommunications, will make it possible. (to paraphrase Orwell) for "Little Brother to see all'. In other words, at some point, technologically, all human knowledge will he at the fingertips of all pupils.

One thought might be to construct a "Media-Education Park" for pupils, within a child-friendly three-dimensional envelope (including the floor space). Will this be able to lead us to the end of the Tower of Babel, with a "Global School" within the "Global Village"?

Following the trail of our imagination for the future, one thought must be abhered to - and that is the preservation of human scale and human contact. After all, we don't want to wind up with future generations of human robots, do we?




UIA Working group “Educational and Cultural Spaces” met in Jerusalem from the 18th to 23rd of April, 1993

During the meeting, several papers were presented on the subject of the meeting: “The Elementary Scheool Towards the Year 2000”.

After discussion of the papers, conclusions and recommendations were formulated and are presented here as the Jerusalem Declaration.

We are aware that some aspects of the moral crisis we are undergoing at present in the whole world are produced by a major educational crisis.

New ideas and the design of innovative learning systems places man at the centre of a dynamic, interactive learning environment. A new spatial solution adapted to the innovative learning systems has been formulated in the following points:

Trends to be noted are democratization, freedom and individualization, all of themm permitting openness of mind which will be reflected in the school building.

In the early years of learning direct interaction of the school with the community and family life is essential. This can be effected by locating the elementary school as a focus and natural extension of the neighbourhood.

Dispersal of teaching spaces and facilities in the community is accepted as a stimulating concept, but in order to be successful, dispersal needs to be part of a complete urban design.

Urban renewal and the changing of urban patterns can be achieved by relocating elementary schools in the existing urban fabric. This can be brought about by new use of old buildings, and enables the realization of the concept of dispersal.

Extensive use of the school building by the community through a 24-hour cycle revitalizes the urban structure.

An elementary school facility must adapt to a variety of teaching techniques, various sizes of pupil groups and a multiplicity of activities.

To achieve an optimal education environment, a dialogue between architect and building users- teachers, pupils, parents – must be established as a starting point of the planning process.

Efficient use of resources for educational facilities can be achieved by optimal utilization of learning spaces. These spaces should be suited to known teaching patterns and guidelines, and adaptable to unknown and changing teachin methods.

Although this group is aware of its limited experience in the developing countries, some recommendations are put forward dealing with the urgent educational needs. As architects, we can only work within available resources, with sensitivity to local cultures. We have to work with the available materials, building techniques and decoration, avoiding imposing imposition of “models” from the developed world, and yet stimulate and raise the level of expectation.



`7X-IVJ,1 011111713DOil TIIVIVD1 DIM-WHIN 0117D117Xil ,0$013nOrt TOM



December 1993


Dear friends and colleagues,

Enclosed please find the proceedings of the Jerusalem Seminar.

As many articles arrived very late we had to delay the publication several times.

I presented the conclusions and recommendations of our Jerusalem seminar in a lecture and in the exhibition of the U.I.A. congress in Chicago June 1993.

KIndest regards,

Jaacov Hertz

JH/HM - 2/000263/51


THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Towards the Year 2000


Following are five articles, which were received too late to be included in the proceedings. Two of them were presented as an abstract in the proceedings and are presented here in their entirety.


The type of schoolbuilding we have reflects very much our approach to the society. Consequently I like to analyse two types of approaches we have according to my opinion.


The first one is mechanical and static approach to the society which industrialism has given us. Its symbol has been the essembly line. The triumph of Taylorism bassed on fragmentation dividing up work and other functions in the society such as the school. Chaplins brilliant "Modern Times" is still applicable here.

The school is divided in levels. In Sweden each level consists of three grades and children of the same age are regulary in the same grade. It sounds sensitive. But why this fixation to an age group when we know that in an average class there may be as much as four to five years of difference in maturity of children of the same age, both physical and mental.

Teaching is based on different subjects isolated and separated from the other subjects in a manner we cannot find in reality outside the school. It may reduce the understanding of the subject and its relation and intergration into other subjects and its application in the society. (That some learning methods had to be refined for educational reasons does not take away my critisism). And the remaining effort of teachers and the curriculum, to try to teach the children an equal amount of knowledge in the same period of time, is pathetic and unfruitful.

What I just have described means, that the school still behaves as if the society of today still is the old fashioned static one. (This way of teaching is also wrong for a static society).

Most of the schoolbuildings we have all over the world mirror the static society with their rows of identical classrooms.

Teachers and architects who have been in the schoolbuilding design "business" for a long time are surprised, that very little has changed over the last 30 years, despite big efforts from dedicated teachers and architects.


The other approach accepting that the society is turning to be more and more dynamic and less heirarchic begins also to influence the school.

This mostly accurs through carrying out experiments. At its best a team of dedicated educators and architects has the opportunity to be engaged in the process of planning and design of a new schoolbuilding from the very beginning. But it is also possible to bring about a "miracle" by rebuilding old schools?

For this approach we have to recognize a holistical nonhierachical view of human beings accepting that children of the same age are of different maturity, and must be taught on their own terms. It means great variations in education.

It also means that programming and design of a schoolbuilding with this approach, as far as economy and other restrictions make it possible, will integrate Preschool and Elementary School. It will be characterized by a team of teachers planning and teaching together, taking mutual responsibility, taking place in a rich environment with great variation of size and form of rooms, and with different degree of openess, as few strict corridors as possible, easy to grasp, children oriented furnishing and genuine materials.

It seems expensive and not possible to achieve in poor countries. It is true, but the most important is the approach to such design and environment, not the degree of luxury one can afford.

In order to illustrate my thoughts I will show some sketches of two schools, one small which has been in use for some years and another one bigger, under construction.

My appeal is: If we accept the society we have and make great effort to imporve it we can give our children a better school, maybe our children will be better prepared for their adult life.


The economy of a Swedish family is based on salaries from both husband and wife. It means that most of the parents (85%) are away from home between 7-9 o'clock in the morning to 4-6 o'clock in the afternoon. It also means that the parents must leave their small preschool children in a kindergarten or any other day nursery institution (for children from 1/2 year and up) which the local authorities by law have to supply. But the schoolchildren must also be looked after, before and after school hours, at least the elementary school children.

Some 10-15 years ago we started thinking about integration of kindergarten (4-6 years old children) and the lower grade of elementary school children (7-9 years old), even before we had some good examples of integrated buildings. But most of them are only integrated in the meaning that the premises for both activities are located in the same building!

The functionalistic doctrine - one function, one room - has lasted long and has caused the society an enormous amount of money. It's a sad fact that not until we are facing a shortage of money we can use our creativity in such a way that we can bring forward a new solution for an old problem. The new solution is often not only more economical than the previous one but also better for the activities in question.

Because the children have to be looked after before and after the school hours, they need some space for activities during that time called "recreational centre". They used to have their own space side by side with the space for the school (classroom, grouproom, workshop etc.) This space was often used only 4-5 hours a day in the spare time. It means that when the rooms in the recreational centre are used, the rooms in the school are empty. But they are the same children!

The first school I am going to show you is a very small school situated rather centrally in Stockholm ()Karlbergsskolan). (Figs 1 and 2) Only 75 pupils. The school Board of Stockholm and the Municipal Board of Social Services (In charge of "recrteational centres") got together to integrate all activities and planning and the economy for the investment and running costs. It was an extremely unusual situation for the 2 teams with different educational background and experience to work together with the goal of total integration.

In addition it is also another interesting experience in integration. The classes are age-integrated. It means that in each class you have 7 to 9 years old children. Every year the 7 year old beginners are joining a working unit of 8 and 9 year old children. The older children set the tone and are a sort of tutor for the beginners, and learn to take responsibility.

In age-integrated groups is it natural that the pupils are learning at varying speeds. In an age-integrated class it's easier for the pupils to grow and mature at thier own rate. Their own classroom and the group give the beginners security. To sum up, the age-integrated classes and the integration of the school and recreation activities give the children:

time to mature and grow at their own rate.

theory and practice mixed.

good contact between younger and older schoolmates.

solid relations to adults.

Karlbergsskolan opened in 1988. It occupies part of the ground floor and the first floor in a new six-storey residential block. The programme area is more generous than normal, becuase of the experiment. I regret that. The experiment would be much more realistic if they had had a normal programme area. If so they would have made sure that the integration saves some 20%­25% of floor area. It is also luxurious in the amount of personnel. 12 persons for 75 children! The school is built around a multipurpose hall with library. It contains three areas. There are three classrooms, 75 square meter each. Each class has 3 grouprooms. The Classrooms are very informal furnished with a livingroom type corner. One grouproom is parlty equipped as a kitchen. A long bench along the window side for storing study material. Also the workshops are bigger than usual and very well equipped, for woodwork, textile crafts, photography and ceramics. The workshop is particularly useful in the afternoon school hours.

There are no distinct borders between school activities and recreational activities. And as elementary school teachers, recreation tutors and nurse have different educational background they partly have different aims for their efforts which enrich and complement each other. Thanks to the integration 3-4 adults work together in each class most of the day.

Even if there have been some problems among the staff the over all opinion of the integration is rather positive.

The other school, (Karinslundsskolan) (Fig 3 and 4) just ouside a small town, is under construction. In the same way as Karlbergsskolan this school is integrated in two ways, age-integrated education and integration of premises for the school, recreational centre and other activities.

The school is planned to accommodate children from kindergarten, 5 year up to 15 years old. It means that the children can stay in the same school until they are going to high school. We are sure it will give the children more stability and confidence. In this school the age-integration can be 3 years (7 to 9 years) but also other combinations are possible, for example 5 to 8 years. A few years ago we introduced new education for teachers for the 9 years compulsory school which facilitates age-integration. In the new system you can either be educated as a teacher for grades 1 to 6 (7 to 12 years old children) or grades 4 to 9 (10 to 15 years old children). It means that the school prefers to use as teachers generalists to specialists and the advantage for the children to have the same teachers for many years. This reform was very much discussed, but is now in use.

The school is planned for about 24 classes (counted in a traditional way).

The school consists of 5 small units attached to each other via a two storey high gallery.

Two of the pavillions (1 and 2) are two storey high, and have classroom like facilities. The square form of the building and a construction of bearing exterior walls and only 4 pillars (see fig. 4) in the corner of the Arena gives very flexible premises. Building 3 is a big sportshall. Pavillion 4 has facilities for mutual activities such as: library, music, recreational centre (part of), staffs facilities, youth club.

Fig 5 gives an idea of the span of the technical flexibility.

The school will be open at new year 1994.

David Chen



A story is told about Albert Einstein walking in the street one morning when a woman came along. When she recognized the famous scientist she approached him saying: Good morning Professor Einstein, tell me, what's new in science? The old professor answered: My dear lady, have you understood all that's old in science? The lesson of this story is that before we aspire to design a school for the future, we should try and better understand the existing school design. The reason for asking questions about contemporary schools is mainly because everyone seems to have a solution for the educational crisis. No one, however, seems to agree what the problems are.

If we look at schools all around the world from Tokyo to Jerusalem, Boston to Moscow, Rio to Delhi, they might look very different from one another to the inexperienced observer. However, a closer look will disclose the simple fact that the basic principles underlying all schools are universally alike. We must remember that though the idea of education is as old as civilization itself, the concept of school as the cornerstone of education for all was born during the Industrial Revolution. The need for literacy for all generated the emergence of a social institution that caters to learning. However, the underlying foundations of the modern school were conceived within a culture that was heavily influenced by technological marvels epitomized by the metaphor of the machine - the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution. Newtonian mechanics provided the conceptual framework for the idea that the world around us can be described deterministically in a machine-like fashion: We can determine the exact initial state and predict the future state of a system to an arbitrary degree of precisior.

The following principles of the contemporary school seem to originate and to have been inspired by Newtonian mechanics:

  • Linear motion toward prefixed goals.

Children enter first grade in September. We teach them 4-6 hours a day, 5-6 days a week for 30 weeks a year. Then they move to a higher grade and continue to perform this cycle for 12 consecutive years. The basic underlying assumption is that learning is directly proportional to time spent at school. The fact that 75% of the students in Israel are not granted the matriculation degree, that only 7 percent of the American public has some sort of scientific literacy, or the fact that nearly a billion adults out of 3 billion in the world remain illiterate is alarming enough to question the underlying assumption mentioned so far.

Another aspect of the linearity principle is revealed in the design of school building where classrooms are laid along linear corridors following the pattern of grade 1 to 12. Every year classes move upward one grade into a new room along the corridor. This pattern is consistent in most traditional school buildings around the world.

  • Standardization

Standardization is the trademark of mass production and was heavily introduced with the Taylorian production line. The educational enterprise is mainly characterized by standardized elements; the national curriculum and its objectives, the graduate certification, the learning time units, the organizational units (age cohorts, etc). the tests, age at entrance and graduation and many more elements.

The design of a traditional school effects the standardized perspective - classrooms are always square rooms 7 x 7 meters, furniture is arranged symmetrically, all teachers are packed in one classroom (class size) regardless of their needs and the entire relationship between structure and function is reduced to a repetitive pattern.

These days the entre American educational community is obsessed with new efforts to create standardization; standardized obejectives, national curriculum and standardized testing. These standardization efforts are in fact reinforcing the mechanical nature of the educational system rather than help to break the existing mold.

  • Limited Organizational Differentiation

While most of the social institutions tend to differentiate and specialize in order to attain optimal functioning, schools have shown a very small degree of differentiation. The major functional organizational unit has been traditionally the classroom, which consists of 20-40 students, one teacher, a single standard room amd a standard schedule. In very few classes school hierarchies serve the purpose of learning on different organizational level - larger or smaller than the class. Rarely, the "schools" or the "districts" are differentiated to serve special needs and individual differences. Thus, the major element of school design around the world is the classroom. Sometimes it may assume the role of a science or a craft classroom environment; nevertheless the overall characteristic of a classroom remain in tact and the relationship between function and structure stay more or less the same.

  • Control and Management

School administrations draw heavily on the notion of central control. Inputs are controlled by student registration based on age cohorts. Allocation to schools, classes and programs is based on supply and demand, rather than interest, merit or choice.

The process of learning is basically predetermined by centrally decided curriculum, time schedules, teacher monitoring and final testing. Feedback principles that may reveal goals and means are simply not built into the system.

The output is controlled mainly by testing and certification that provide quality control which is detached from the process of learning. While the industry is turning from mass production to flexible manufacturing (FMS) schools still practice the industrial age control practices.

In the design of a school, time is controlled using the bell, and school management is centralized and lacking in terms of space and technological infrastructure (printing' maintenance, computing, communications, access to databases, etc.)

If it is true that contemporary schools reflect the ways of thinking of the industrial age, it is high time for us to reconsider the basic assumptions concerning schools. To do just this we need a new definition of education.

Redefining Education

We would like to suggest a new definition of education that is based on social epistemology:

Education is about the relationships between knowledge and people. Education in prinicple is the social mediation between public and private knowledge. It is process by which individual knowledge (Ontogenic knowledge) is growing through the interactions with the pool of public knowledge (Phylogenetic knowledge). It is the growth of the individual knowledge that is at the heart of the educational process. Everything else is just the means toward that end: teachers, school building, curriculum, etc.

We therefore need to replace the mechanical framework for education with a humanistic approach that emanates from a human perspective taking into account the very nature of the Honio sapiens. If we are to take seriously a different approach to a new design of learning environments, the following principles might serve as a guidline:

The principle of Human Diversity

People are not raw materials. Individual differences in cognitive development, personal choices, cultural backgrounds, personal histories, and learning modalities ought to be recognized by allowing the learning system to adapt. The capacity to adapt depends on structural flexibility, introduction of cybernetic feedback mechanisms, connecting goals to means and a social and cultural climate that acknowledges diversity rather than standardization and mechanization.

Human Knowledge is Dynamic and Not Static, Branched and Not Linear or Hierarchical

Writing and print technoligies have provided an infrastructure for public knowledge that is mostly linear, static and hierarchical in the textbook. However, the electronic media transform the very nature of public knowledge into a dynamic one, networked on "Hypermedia", therefore changing the very nature of the relationship between the learner and the learned.

This new relationship calls for a change from the linear monotonous student movement to a non linear, non monotonous and diversified goal directed motion through the milieu of knowledge. Thus the design of the learning environments should reflect the need for the deversified dynamic and pluralistic nature of learning.

Structural Differentiation for Learning Organization

Organizational development for learning environments calls for highly differentiated and flexible learning environments. Instead of the contemporary rigid and mechanical organization of school, learning environments would follow the metaphor of a dynamic learning network. Instead of the classroom as the functioning unit, we will be able to find differential clustering of learners based on a different scale and on changing needs. Functional learning groups could vary from a whole community watching a TV program, special interest groups (SIG) or a very large to a very small scale individual learning (reading in a workstation), cognitive learning.

Today's schools arQ lftor intensive, book technology driven. However, it is pretty clear that much of the public knowledge and specifically the newly created knowledge, will be contained within the electronic infrastructure. Thus, the relationship between learners and knowledge will change, conditioned by the access to the electronic media.

The new information technology is changing many aspects in that regard:

The time-knowledge relationships

Today only about 8 percent of the active time is used for organized formal learning at school. Individual access to public knowledge can increase learning time by a factor of seven! If we are seriously interested in the design of a much more effective education, we have to explore intensively alternative resources of potential learning and expand the existing dimensions for interacting with knowledge in a significant way. Some of the calculations concerning the distribution of time between formal schooling and other functions are presented in Table 1.

The space-knowledge


Efficient learning based on print technology and instruction required the students to come to the information resource - the school. The new technologies enable information to flow from anywhere to the student. The immediate environments such as home, community and the economical institutions can provide real world learning experiences while the electronic environment is providing meditative or representative learning experiences. This would enable the creation of learning networks and multimedia learning communities to break the traditional mold of "school" and allow for alternative learning environments to develop. The network metaphor represents perhaps the closest archetype of the new design for learning environments


The design of new and innovative learning environments should break away from the traditional classroom as a functional unit and the classroom clusters called school. The contemporary design of schools was inspired by the mechanical notions of people engaged in learning. A humanistic approach to education originating in a better understanding of the very nature of the individual learner and its relationships with public knowledge calls for a new design for learning organization. This design should employ the following principles:

  • Recognition of human diversity that entails flexibility in setting learning goals, modes and content.

  • Understanding of the dynamic nature of human knowledge and provision hypermedia-like environments.

  • Creating an adaptive, flexible and intelligent learning environment at varying scales and sizes.

  • Allowing for new relationships between structure and function within learning organizations. The notion of learning network might be the inspiration for an alternative design.

We are confident that once the very principles of the design of new learning systems are recognized, the resulting alternarive designs for school will emerge accordingly.

Lajos Jeney


Arch. Lajos Jeney, Hungary.

There are more than 600 settlements in Hungary located in regions whose development lacks economically compared with the rest of the country. These regions are facing difficult days at present and hard years to come.

The supreme autority for technical development of the country, the National Committee for Econimic Development launched a joint programme with cooperation of our firm TTI-EUROVIA Company Ltd., for Planning, Development and Consulting to assist 21 settlements for three years supplying them with long-term master plans for community facilities development.

The work was done by seven interdisciplinary planning groups including architects, teachers and specialists of social studies, under the guidance of Architect Jeney.

The experience of UNESCO has been utilized in the programme because two former UNESCO fellows Lajos Jeney and Istvan Kiss, and a former UNESCO expert Istvan Brjeska, were the driving force in performing the task.


To provide professional support for the settlements located in economically handicapped regions of the country for the sake of developing their public and community facilities.


A questionaire was sent out in advance to the local authorities participating in the programme. The objective was to receive basic data necessary for identification and determination of local needs.

In addition to the data received the specialist group in cooperation with representatives of the local authority collected on site further information of functional, urbanistic, operational, structural and repair data of existing facilities. This information was necessary to draw up a planning and design brief for the development of cummunity facilities of the settlement.


In the framework of this programme in three years /1991 to 1993/ 21 settlements received their master plans for long term development.

A major portion of these master plans includes educational, cultural, public sports and leisure facilities.

The master plan of each settlement was based on results of two basic investigations:

  1. on social demands of a community on the one hand; and on results of analysis of the existing buildings aviaiable, on the other.

In the course of the investigation of social needs of a community the following aspects have

been taken into considerastion:

history and potential of the existing settlement structure;

demographic data reaching back as far as 30 years;

position of the settlement from the aspect of sociology; and

economic potential and prospects.

In the course of analysis of existing public institutions the following aspects have been investigated:

the location of the buildings occpied in the settlement fabric;

  1. site potentials;

  2. state of repair of buildings functional and structural characteristics and their location.

On the basis of analysis of the resulsts of these investigations a long term development master plan for each cummunity was drawn up, subdivided in short, medium and long range programmes.

The individual communities are now able to begin with realization of their plans in predefined phases, using the elaborate plans and building designs.

The Hungarian Government grants financial support for the realization of this programme. This support derives from special fund established for development of economical handicapped regions and does not have to be reimbursed.

In this way these communities will hopefully realize their full programme of public facilities construction over a period of five to ten years and may then start the next century with better chances.

Jorge Farelo Pinto

THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TOWARDS THE YEAR 2000 Arch. Jorde Farele Pinto - Portugal.

What means building a school at the end of this century?

We say it's not a specific problem of elementary schools but of all education equipment, because on the whole, the problems are all the same, though on different scales and with their own specification.

With two contrasting examples, one in the Southern hemisphere, in Mozambiqe, the other in the Northern hemisphere, in Portugal, (Fig. 1,2) we identify some of the questions that are always presented to the person who plans or is, in some way, connected with this type of building

The following ten points are present in Mozambique. In spite of their own singularity and intensity they are not an exhaustive list and all items are equally important.


One of the major problems is concerned with the choice of ground for schools.

The ground has to be defined and reserved in urbanistic terms, taking into account growing of cities, otherwise the result would be poor conditions of acessibility and security, not permitting an easy relationship between school and community.

In these two cases, special care was undertaken and criteria of selection were established permitting the best possible areas available.


With the economic restrictions due to a programme whose objective is to built the largest possible number of classrooms for the children of this country, that has a 90% rate of illiteracy, the greatest achievement has been the introduction of a quality that shows an evolution towards their future references and experiences.

They are classrooms with good natural light, confortable, with heating and ventilation, without window problems, with shutters, but not glass, and with at least tables and chairs.(Figs. 3,4)

There are schools with no "technology" because the needs are so great that any equipment would be immediately "devorred".


We developed a project with idential construction an dimensional principles, but when planning the schools, we adapted each school in order to avoid uniformity.

Therefore we introduced some differences such as grids, colours, and so on.(Fig. 3,4)

The building of the school of S. Damaso was deferred during war time when the countryside was deserted.

But now, in times of peace, it works with three shifts a day, its capacity of five classrooms, each with 50 student, has today a real capacity of 780 students.

Its principal has already erected sign stating that no more students will be accepted.


The building techniques used are very simple, walls that support beams, ventilated celings, a strong component of hand work, refusal of sophisticated technologies.

We considered the climate and the surrounding areas and developed solutions that aren't opposed to local values, On the contrary, we adopted those that stimulate their use, as they are acceptable as their own.


The use of sanitary facilities demands certain rules, for instance, if there is water, it shouldn't be wasted, and it gives the opportunity to develop basic principles such as sociability, sanitary habits and collective life.

If these schools are kept clean and in good condition, one of the main objectives of education will have been achieved.


We created a multi-propose area to serve as a basic refectory/canteen and also as a small gymnasium.

In fact these simple areas are a focus of attraction that gives the minimum required so that other activities can take place there as well.


A careful study of outdoor spaces, also for educational purposes, is required not only for pedagogic reasons but also for the desire to give a pleasant atmosphere where one should want to stay, stroll, play and so on.

In fact the pedagogic garden, where various vagetable species are sowed, gives the opportunity for different curriculum hours.

The distribution of water by channels from a pond encourages interest and respect for nature.


The possibility of having in this building different facilities such as the swimming pool, the gymnasium for dance, aerobics and gymnastics, the proper space for the practice of judo, the sport hall for basketball, handball, volleyball, is a good step toward recognition of this school within society.

In fact these areas in use not only by the student population but also by clubs and sports associations are an important factor for the integration of the school in the community. This provides a sens of involvement and responsibility in keeping and guarding these facilities and not allowing acts of vandalism or destruction.


Besides normal classrooms a number of specific spaces should exist in which equipment depends on the necessary developement, economic possibilities, We say that they should match the main objectives of the country.

For instance, we think of laboratories, technology rooms with some computers, the library, that should be, in addition to a place where books are kept, a place of study and research where the students go after working hours.


Sociability does not happen only in breaks, but if suitable space is available, it is possible to be in the school, to live, to stay, to play, to have fun.

All these ten statements allow us to think school as a center whose spirit is the development of existing activities.

Knowing that the main purpose is to promote the teaching quality by improving activities and professional development and training of teachers and childhood masters, we can ration the existing technological resources to be useful for the greatest number of people involved.


With these main targets we can identify five actions that if realized would mean a great development to the educational system :

STIMULATE the creative and constructive spirit, essential for the acquisition of knowledge

CULTIVATE habits of persistence in school work

REVITALIZE the teachers roll in classes

DYNAMIZE the relationship between community and school

HELP other schools with an exchange of programs and experiences

Betty Politi



Betty Politi - Israel.

The elementary school is an apparently simple educational and administrative unit: The basic concept of the role of such a school is constant. The introduction of substantive reforms into this unit is slow and gradual. Few schools are ready to take on the experience of innovation and to develop the necessary tools for its implementation.

The process of absorption of change into the system may take many years. This may facilitate policy makers planning their chanses.

Today's trends in education are basically child-centered methods of teaching with the objective of providing the child with adequate tools to deal with a changing and complex world.

The planning of today's Scholl building must take into considaration these trends

We can indicate certain broad lines of development in the -

  • Observation of the child in the centre of the educational process.

  • Technology of communication will be felt significantly in all fields of teaching. This technology will support the existing tendency which stresses individual teaching. Computers will be used in all learning activities as a tool and not as an objective.

An increase in the registration area, makes it possible for the parents to chose between different schools.

  • Increasing community involvement in the activities of the school and involving the school in the life of the community.

  • Priority to development of smaller educational units to facilitate pupil identification with his school and to prevent social alienation.

The methods of teaching are adapted to the Educational Philosophy and generally the school building is an expression of them.

Traditional methods of teaching created the traditional classroom, where the children were seated in rows facing the blackboard and the teachers' table. This kind of classroom design had a very clear objective - to transmit to the children that order and discipline are required; the teacher is the centre of the educational process and the individual is mostly a part of the group without any consideration as to the individual child.

The non-traditional methods, called alternative learning, are a direct outcome of the democratisation process that our society is going through.

These methods are based on the psychological theory that regards the child as a creature having a natural learning instinct that should be directed and instructed. This theory sees the pupil as the centre of the learning process. Teaching is aimed at the development of each individual as a group member, according to his abilities, interest and capacity.

The planning of the structure of schools (which may last for half a century) must take the existing trends into ^consideration.

The analysis of physical expression of such trends reveals that most changes are concentrated in the "home-base" unit. Children are divided into age groups or multi-age groups. The organisational sturcture should support and reflect the application of the educational concept. The aim should be the creation of small units. Therefore an age group should be composed of 2-3 parallel classes. It is recommended to have autonomous sections for the various age-groups. Their autonomy should be reflected in the centralization of functions and resources of each section in the specific area designed for it. Functions such as special education, special care, teachers workshops and storage should be located in the section itself.

Future foreseable changes would seem to demand the building of a flexible school infrastructure. The term "flexible" is frequently used and refers to different meanings: immediate changes, low-cost changes in the future, flexibility to adapt to a series of changes at different times without damaging the existing structure.

This wide range of definition needs careful examination and raises many questions. Several types of flexibility of the physical structure are distinguished:

  1. flexibility, the ability of the building to offer immediate solutions on a day to day or even hour to hour basis.

  2. adaptability of the building to enable physical changes without modifying the basic permanent elements in the building. This can be achieved by elements like sliding or removable walls, the opening of new space or the closing of existing ones, etc.

  3. expansion and contraction, the ability to expand the building in the future or the closing or isolation of part of the building due to change in requirments.

The basic scheme desired for the physical structure of an elementary school is a function of the combination of the following:

  • spaces adapted to the demands of different learning methods.

  • spaces adapted to the school's organisational sturcture.

  • the organisation of space to permit functional change involving minor structural change.

  • organisation of space suitable for its efficient utilisation for communal purposes.

  • local factors: topography, access etc.

The design process of an elementary school building is therefore not a simple task but it demands the collaboration of the "users" teachers, and community delegates with the chosen architect.

For the definition of educational needs the participation of teachers is a must.

Today in Israel, 500 elementary schools out of a total of 1,300 have implemented alternative methods of teaching in different stages.

During the last decade in Israel, a small number of schools were extablished with the participation of educators in the planning process. This experience is the basis of a new policy of the Ministry of Education to introduce and enhance innovation in the planning of new school buildings. The Ministry is encouraging and supporting the creation of local committees to participate in the planning process.


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