Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Austerity schools - a step backwards in school building

The UK government has scaled back the building plans for schools - now dubbed "austerity schools" - making them smaller, cheaper and modular.
Robert Booth, writing in The Guardian, reports that there will be no curves in the buildings, and the plans "also prohibit folding internal partitions to subdivide classrooms, roof terraces that can be used as play areas, glazed walls and translucent plastic roofs".
"The templates tell architects new schools should have "no curves or 'faceted' curves", corners should be square, ceilings should be left bare and buildings should be clad in nothing more expensive than render or metal panels above head height".
The article quotes Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove as saying: "We won't be getting Richard Rogers to design your school, we won't be getting any award-winning architects to design it, because no one in this room is here to make architects richer."
How short sighted.
Let us not examine the pathetic statement about not making architects richer - just the lost opportunity to make school spaces which contribute to learning.
How short sighted indeed.
Contrast this with this video on "Designing schools for the 21st Century" by Randall Fielding:

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