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Knowledge economy: Global best school buildings

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image captionHow can design and architecture improve the quality of education? Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities is an annual showcase for buildings for schools and universities. Here is the multicoloured exterior of the Tuomarilan kindergarten, Espoo, Finland. Photo Jussi Tiainen.
image captionJudges looked at how buildings were connected to their settings. The Liceo Tecnico Profesional La Florida in Santiago, Chile, is one of the designs selected by the OECD's Centre for Effective Learning. Photo: Ministry of Education, Chile.
image captionInside out: The Fuji kindergarten in Tachikawa, Japan, is based around Montessori principles of learning through play. There are no fixed walls between classrooms and for much of the year the inner screens to the playground can be left open. There are living trees incorporated in the building design. Katsuhisa Kida/FOTOTECA.
image captionShould a school stand out from the crowd? Giant pencil-shaped entrance columns at Aadharshila Vatika in Delhi, India. The kindergarten has been praised for its child-friendly environment. "The bold use of colours, variety of non-regular spaces and customised furniture and fittings create a playful ambience." Photo: Kapil Aggarwal/Nikhil Kant.
image captionSchool designs can also look for harmony with the surrounding environment. The pillars of the Ecole Internationale de Manosque are set against the hills of Provence, France. Photo: AREA.
image captionRoom for reflection: A feature of the selected designs was how they brought together external and internal spaces. A shallow pool in the courtyard of the Ecole Internationale de Manosque in France. Photo: AREA.
image captionBlending new shapes and structures alongside traditional buildings. The Lilley Centre, Brisbane Grammar School, Brisbane, Australia. "The building is sited so as to link, spatially and visually, the traditional Gothic architecture of the school to the urban streetscape of central Brisbane." Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones.
image captionModelled on a traditional lecture theatre, the forum is also designed to allow students to work in groups. The Lilley Centre, Brisbane Grammar School. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones.
image captionFinding the right angle: The School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa, has facilities for sculpture, painting, printmaking and a library. Photo: Andy Ryan.
image captionWhat should a classroom look like? A minimalist approach in Tuomarilan kindergarten, Espoo, Finland. Photo Jussi Tiainen.
image captionOr should it retain a formal setting? A learning resource centre is in the library of the restored building now used by Escola Secundaria Passos Manuel, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Jose Manuel Rodrigues.
image captionThe library in Seven Fountains School in Kokstad, South Africa. Many classrooms have mezzanine or loft areas that provide breakaway spaces for creative teaching and for project work. Photo: Angela Buckland.
image captionThe classroom and the outside areas become extensions of each other. Dandenong Senior High School, Dandenong, Australia.
image captionOpen to the sky: The ramps running around the courtyard link all rooms at the Liceo Tecnico Profesional La Florida, Santiago, Chile. Photo: Ministry of Education, Chile.